Thursday, March 15, 2007

Need Money For Environmental Protection? De-Fund Iraq

I got this news release from my congressman, Texas CD-22 Congressman Nick Lampson’s office a couple of days ago and was waiting to see who picked it up.

No one from what I can see.

So here, Nick, let me put the high points in the blog for you.

Subcommittee Questions EPA Budget Cuts

(Washington, DC) - Members of the House Committee on Science and Technology's Energy and Environment Subcommittee today questioned the effects of projected federal budget cuts to environmental research programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The President's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08) reduces the agency's overall budget to$7.2 billion, a 5.5 percent cut compared to FY 06.

The overall spending by EPA's research programs has been declining for several years, with a 5 percent reduction four years ago, and a 2 percent cut in FY06. Between 2004 and the proposed 2008 budget, the overall support for Research and Development at EPA has declined by 25% in inflation adjusted terms. During the hearing, Energy & Environment Subcommittee Chairman Nick Lampson (D-TX) expressed concern that these cuts will prevent the agency from adequately supporting the research and development needed to creatively solve our country's environmental problems.

"It's not about partisanship. I don't know if my kids are going to grow up to be Democrats or Republicans, but I want them grow up healthy," Lampson said. "Unfortunately, for the fourth consecutive year the proposed budget falls short when it comes to enabling our nation to achieve further success in environmental protection."

Lampson and Members of the Subcommittee heard from four witnesses at this afternoon's hearing: Dr. George Gray, Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, Environmental Protection Agency; Dr. M. Granger Morgan, Chair, Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board; Dr. Jennifer Sass, Senior Scientist, Health and Environment Program, Natural Resource Defense Council; Dr. Bruce C. Coull, Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, School of Environment, University of South Carolina.

"Without investment in science and in scientists, there can be no science-based decision making," Coull said. "In real dollar terms, EPA's funding of science is nearly unchanged since at least 1990, and has been steadily declining since FY 2004."

Now I don’t want to sound like a broken record, Nick, but there’s only one reason that the EPA’s budget has been cut every year for the past four years. It’s starts with an I, ends with a Q and has an RA in the middle. Practically every non military budget has been cut so we can maintain an illegal and immoral war in Iraq. A war that 58% of Americans want us out of this year. A war that 80% of Iraqis want us out of tomorrow. A war that benefits no one but arms manufacturers, mortuaries, medical prosthetic manufacturers, and Halliburton.
Let’s not quibble any more about the how of it and get to the when of it. And when meaning soon when.

1 comment:

Marsha said...

Hal,
I agree 100% with your statements. Nick, pay attention. This country is bleeding internally from the war nobody but the GW Henchmen wanted. Our troops need to be home, getting good medical and psychological treatment. Go after Ben Laden in Afghanistan but get the "muck" out of Iraq.