The following statement is from Alan Rowsome, director of conservation funding for The Wilderness Society, on President Obama’s speech today on the fiscal cliff.
“We are pleased that President Obama invited Congressional leadership to the White House next week to work on a balanced solution to the fiscal cliff and sequestration. It is critical that we avoid across the board spending cuts to federal programs that support public lands and the communities and wildlife that depend on them, clean air and water, and a sustainable energy future. Further cuts to conservation programs will neither balance the budget nor help the American economy.
“Today, the President said “We can’t just cut our way to prosperity. If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue.” As the larger debate about the fiscal cliff becomes clearer, we encourage Congress and the Administration to take a hard look at some the tax breaks that the oil and gas industry receive. Eliminating the $4 billion annually we pay in unnecessary giveaways to the oil and gas industry could pay for the entire maintenance backlog of the National Wildlife Refuge System in a single year, with money left over. The American people do not want a budget deal that closes National Parks while keeping American taxpayers’ wallets open to the oil and gas industry.”