In President Obama’s speech to outline his plan for bringing our budget woes under control, he pointed out that Republicans want to cut 70 percent of the money that goes to encouraging clean energy efforts in America. I guess if you’re as close to retirement as many of our lawmakers are, you’re not all that worried about how dirty our air will be a few decades down the road. President Obama elaborated in his budget address that the GOP is after:
A 70% cut to clean energy. A 25% cut in education. A 30% cut in transportation. Cuts in college Pell Grants that will grow to more than $1,000 per year. That’s what they’re proposing. These aren’t the kind of cuts you make when you’re trying to get rid of some waste or find extra savings in the budget. … These are the kind of cuts that tell us we can’t afford the America we believe in. And they paint a vision of our future that’s deeply pessimistic.
Now, I get the whole argument that every agency and program should be subject to cuts to help curb the budget deficit, and that the Republicans aren’t the ones who usually look out for clean skies or rainbows, but 70 percent?? The only message that sends is a collectively raised middle finger to those whose health is, or will be, effected by turning back the environmental clock.
According to Talking Points Memo:
One of the hardest hit institutions [in the GOP budget] is the Environmental Protection Agency, whose power Republicans have sought to curtail in recent years through a variety of legislative means. The agency will receive $1.6 billion less in funding than current levels, a 16 percent drop, including a $49 million reduction in climate change programs and $149 million cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
In addition to programs protecting the environment, programs aimed at boosting energy efficiency for power plants and transportation also were major targets. Energy efficiency and renewable energy were cut by $438 million while fossil energy R&D was reduced by $226 million and nuclear energy funding was cut by $56 million. Funding for high speed rail, all $2.9 billion of it, was zeroed out entirely.
That’s not a trim, that’s a full haircut that leaves you bald. If these cuts are implemented, we can count on increasing health issues for everyone, which will mean increased medical costs for families.
The good news is that the GOP efforts aren’t stopping the Secretary of Energy who’s been meeting with leaders around the world to keep finding ways to fund cleaner energy options to benefit all of us and make our world a little healthier. But he’s only one administrator in a sea of Republicans who seem to be decidedly indifferent to what our world will look like with massive environmental budget cuts.
I’m being compensated by the Environmental Defense Fund to be part of the Moms Clean Air Force, a collective effort to bring more attention to cleaning up our environment for the health of all our families. But I think you know that if I don’t believe in something, I don’t write about.