WASHINGTON (January 1, 2013) – Following is a statement by Franz Matzner, associate director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“Today, Americans can breathe a sigh of relief, thanks to the commitment by President Obama and Democratic leadership in Congress to ensure that this agreement includes new revenues and delays automatic cuts to essential programs that protect our health, our environment and our future.
“But arbitrary, mandatory cuts to programs that every American relies on still dangle over the nation’s head—cuts that are doubly unnecessary now that a framework is in place to raise new revenues.
“As Congress works out a longer-term agreement, the Republican leadership must drop its fantasy that the budget can be balanced by slashing environmental and clean energy programs that benefit every American.
“Furloughed workers, closed national parks, and dirtier air and water won’t solve our economic woes. The nation needs a balanced plan that recognizes a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand in hand. ”