THE REPUBLICAN BUDGET: Sacrificing Our Environment and Public Health
June 16, 1998
President Clinton and Vice President Gore are proposing significant new investments for a clean, safe environment. The President's fiscal year 1999 budget provides major funding increases to protect national parks, accelerate toxic cleanups, curb water pollution and combat global warming. Yet both the House and Senate budget resolutions fail to provide for most of these proposed increases.
PRESIDENT CLINTON'S BUDGET would:
Commit nearly $1 billion over five years to repair deteriorating infrastructure at national parks and other public lands, and provide a 43 percent increase over five years to acquire scenic and natural areas, many threatened by urban sprawl.
Fund a five-year $6.3 billion program to combat global warming through cost-effective measures to reduce greenouse gas pollution. The package includes $3.6 billion in tax incentives and $2.7 billion for R&D to spur development and use of energy-efficient products and clean energy technologies.
Secure an additional $2.3 billion over five years to curb polluted runoff and other threats to our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Much of the funding would go to states, communities and farmers to help carry out the President's new Clean Water Action Plan.
Provide an additional $600 million in Fiscal Year 1999, a 40 percent increase, to accelerate Superfund cleanups. These funds would help meet the President's goal of doubling the pace of cleanup, completing a total of 900 cleanups by the end of 2001.
THE REPUBLICAN BUDGET proposals, by contrast, fails to provide funding for vital environmental initiatives. Their effects would be felt in communities across America. They would:
Cut funding for health-and-safety repairs at our national parks. Critical construction, maintenance and repair of campgrounds, dams, bridges and historic buildings at national parks and other public lands would be delayed Many of these projects are needed to protect the health and safety of visitors.
Heighten the risk of global warming. Delaying common-sense efforts to begin curbing greenhouse gas emissions will make it even harder to avert the harmul consequences of climate change.
Slash funding for clean water. Communities would be denied help in cleaning up the 40 percent of our nation's waterways still too polluted for fishing and swimming.
Delay Superfund cleanups at scores of toxic waste sites. A quarter of all Americans, including 10 million children, live within four miles of a Superfund site. The Environmental Protection Agency calculates that cleanup starts could be delayed at up to 171 Superfund sites.