House Attacks on Wildlife, Air and Water Wouldn’t Close Budget Gap

Plan would gut investments in natural resources

03-29-2012 // Miles Grant
Capitol building

The U.S. House of Representatives today is expected to pass the budget plan written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). A National Wildlife Federation analysis shows the plan would gut investments in natural resources that already make up only a tiny fraction of federal spending.

Josh Saks, legislative director of the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

"The vast majority of Americans believe the federal government has a fundamental responsibility to help ensure that our air is clean, our water is safe to drink and our treasured National Parks, refuges and other public lands are protected for this and future generations. Despite this strong sentiment, investments in air, water, land, wildlife and other key natural resources account for only about 1 percent of the total federal budget.

"With such a comparatively small investment delivering vital benefits for all Americans, one would think it would be least likely to face the budget axe. Unfortunately, the 2013 Budget Resolution proposed by Rep. Ryan would significantly weaken the federal government’s ability to protect the environment, advance cleaner energy resources and ensure healthy wildlife populations.

"With such disproportionate cuts to programs that desperately need continued funding to ensure a safe and clean environment it raises the question: Is this about legitimate cost savings, or is it a deliberate attempt to take the environmental cop off the beat and significantly weaken the federal government’s longstanding stewardship responsibilities?"

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