Cut Polluter Subsidies, Not Environmental Programs

In the coming weeks Congress will debate drastic changes to the federal budget to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" of automatic cuts to spending programs. There is right way out of this mess: end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent and cut the harmful subsidies to big oil, timber companies, and other polluters. A healthy economy and a robust clean energy economy begins with a strong middle class.

Congress must end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent and eliminate the $41 billion in subsidies and tax breaks currently given to the oil and gas industry.
Subject: Cut polluter subsidies, not environmental programs

I am writing to urge you to protect our nation's lands, air, and water when the Congress debates the budget this month. If implemented, sequestration would make deep cuts to programs that protect America's special places, stimulate billions in revenue every year, and support millions of jobs.

Instead of cutting almost one billion dollars from land management agencies, I urge you to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent. Repealing those tax cuts would generate nearly $1 trillion over the next ten years, revenue that could be used to help working families, support vital services for the poor and programs that protect our air, land and water, and give every citizen a fair chance at the American dream.

Ending the Bush tax cuts is an important first step to level the playing field and tackle the deficit. Other reforms that Congress should enact include ending the subsidies and tax breaks for the oil and gas industry and the timber industry and taxing polluters who spew global warming pollution into our air.

I urge you to consider these alternative strategies -- by cutting harmful fossil fuel subsidies to generate revenue -- so that we can preserve critical government programs that protect our nation's landscape and environment, support jobs across the country, and stimulate billions in economic activity for local economies are preserved.
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