TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP WARNS AGAINST ENVIRONMENTAL EXTREMISM ON EARTH DAY | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP WARNS AGAINST ENVIRONMENTAL EXTREMISM ON EARTH DAY

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
April 22, 1999(202) 467-5300

WASHINGTON, DC – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), America’s largest taxpayer advocacy group, today marked “Earth Day” by decrying wasteful government spending on misguided environmental initiatives.

“We certainly don’t want to oppose the real virtues of Earth Day, which highlights the importance of protecting and wisely managing our natural resources,” said CAGW President Thomas Schatz.  “Unfortunately, the Clinton administration has made extreme environmentalism its official policy.  This not only puts an unacceptable burden on taxpayers; it also gives Americans an almost literal impression that the sky is falling.  What America needs is a sensible environmental policy that utilizes the positive effects of the free market.  Individuals and businesses can make better environmental decisions than government bureaucrats.  No one is interested in spoiling the environment that provides the resources for America’s economic growth.”

In a groundbreaking investigative report last fall, CAGW uncovered highly questionable grants provided to various organizations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, entitled Phony Philanthropy: How Government Grants are Subverting the Missions of Nonprofits, revealed how serious conflicts of interest can arise when the groups are funded in whole or in part by the government.  As one example of abuse, many of these organizations lobby Congress, and usually do so in a self-serving manner. CAGW also found that some of these supposedly grassroots organizations receive up to 99 percent of their funding from the federal government, and several have negative fund balances.

CAGW is continuing its research in this area with its current investigation of the bureaucratic concept of “environmental justice.” The goal of environmental policy is to ensure that federally funded programs and practices do not subject minority and low-income communities to “disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects.” EPA is still investigating 15 current complaints and moving forward on national guidelines, even though Congress has cut off funding for investigating additional cases.  Additionally, as the Phony Philanthropy report reveals, the EPA itself doles out millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded grants to a whole cadre of non-profit environmental groups which pursue environmental justice lawsuits.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a member of the Resourceful Earth Coalition.  CAGW is a 600,000-member nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in government. 

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