Report Recommends Cutting Energy and Agricultural SubsidiesAugust 31, 2011
The old saying that politics makes strange bedfellows is spot on when it comes to describing a recent report titled Green Scissors 2011. The report, which is to be delivered to the super committee created by the bi-partisan compromise over raising the federal debt ceiling, was co-authored by the Friends of the Earth, the Heartland Institute, Public Citizen, and Taxpayers for Common Sense.
In order to gain votes for raising the debt ceiling, Congress included a requirement that $2.7 trillion be cut from the budget over the next decade. Of that $2.7 trillion, $917 billion is to come from discretionary programs, with the remaining $1.5 trillion coming from recommendations made by a twelve-person, bipartisan debt super committee.
The Green Scissors 2011 authors outline $380 billion in budget savings that could be achieved over five years by eliminating “wasteful and environmentally harmful” federal subsidies in the name of environmental and fiscal responsibility. The cuts identified by the authors include:
- Eliminating $61.275 billion in conventional fossil fuel subsidies and tax incentives.
- Eliminating $49.615 billion in nuclear energy programs for R&D, loan guarantees, environmental cleanup, and nuclear waste liability funds.
- Eliminating $95.817 billion invested in renewable energy loan guarantees, corn ethanol subsidies, R&D, the FutureGen carbon capture demonstration project, and fuel technologies development.
- Eliminating the $3.250 billion Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) program.
- Eliminating $56.655 billion in agriculture subsidies.
- Eliminating over $106 billion in selected transportation programs and projects including transfer payments to the Highway Trust Fund.
- Eliminating $15.290 billion in selected land and water subsidies and programs.
As the November 23rd deadline for the super committee draws closer, it is likely that more reports from industry and interest groups attempting to influence the committee will be released.