President George Bush’s proposed budget for 2003 would boost spending on fossil fuel and nuclear energy projectswhile cutting key environmental protection measures.
On Monday, Bush sent Congress a $2trillion dollar budget proposal that expands military and national securityspending while reducing funds for domestic programs. Citing the war in Afghanistan and the recession, Bush argued itwould be necessary to run a deficit and curtail domestic spending on health, the environment, and education.
Environmentalists countered that the administration was invoking '’homeland security'’ as an excuse to slash programs- including enforcement of existing environmental laws and efforts to protect tropical forests–that it has opposedsince it took office. Bush’s proposed budget would slash overall spending for environmental and natural resourcesdepartments by one billion dollars. The slashes include nearly $300 million dollars from the Environmental ProtectionAgency and more than $500 million from the Department of Transportation’s air pollution reduction programs.
The demolition of the environment is one reason that brought people to the streets of New York to protest the WorldEconomic Forum. Last week, global justice activists held a series of counter-summits around the theme “Another Worldis Possible”. The Students for Global Justice held a counter-summit called “Globalizing Justice.”
- Patrick Reinsborough, organizing director for the Rainforest Action Network based in San Francisco,speaking at the “Globalizing Justice” Counter-Summit conference last week.