Case Study: Friends of the Earth’s Green Scissors Program
Removing the Subsidies for Environmental Degradation
Every day, taxpayer dollars in the U.S. are used to pollute rivers, threaten health, squander natural assets, and create radioactive waste. It is easy to point out, but politically difficult to eliminate this waste of money and resources in federal and state budgets. But before attempting the monumental effort of attempting to shift tax policy, the more mundane effort of rooting out subsidies for environmental degradation can foster cleaner production and build surprising coalitions.
Organizations representing more than 8.5 million environmentalists, taxpayers, and deficit hawks in the U.S. have come together to produce the annual “Green Scissors” Report recommending cuts in federal spending to protect the environment and save taxpayers billions of dollars. For 2002, the Green Scissors Report offered 78 recommendations to cut more than $54 billion in wasteful spending and subsidies that pollute natural resources and threaten public health.
The Green Scissors 2002 report targets 10 “Choice Cuts,” which include programs that the U.S. Congress will probably act upon in the coming year, or that are most in need of reform.
For more information on the U.S. Friend’s of the Earth’s Green Scissors Programs, visit their website.