Bush’s Budget: Hello Petroleum, Goodbye Endangered Species, Clean Water, Amtrak…

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Despite a seemingly robust support for alternative, environmentally-friendly fuels in his State of the Union address, President Bush is anything but green. The President’s $2.9 trillion budget, submitted to Congress Monday, included the one-two punch of cutting conservation while increasing gas and coal-powered industries.

Here are just a few ways the President is trying “to promote energy independence for our country, while dramatically improving the environment.”

Clean power:

  • $385 million for “clean” power derived from coal
  • Nearly $500 million for a nuclear waste dump
  • $114 million to expand the U.S.’s nuclear power facilities
  • $405 million for the U.S. to reprocess nuclear reactor fuel for sale to foreign nations
  • $5.8 million increase for the Bureau of Land Management’s oil and gas operations
  • Doubles the capacity of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve over 20 years.
  • $400 million cut from Amtrak’s passenger services
  • Conservation:

  • $44 million cut from clean water initiatives
  • $9 million decrease for the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences
  • $85 million cut from the Land and Water Conservation Fund
  • Proposes selling $800 million of National Forests
  • 950 million acres of public lands to be sold over 10 years
  • Wildlife:

  • $5.5 million cut from the endangered species recovery program
  • funding for private landowners to help conserve at-risk wildlife, cut entirely
  • Budget assumes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will be used for oil and gas drilling
  • National Wildlife Refuge System receives a small increase in funding, but still less than FY 2004 level
  • Bureau of Land Management’s wildlife program, cut entirely
  • All this may sound dire, but not to worry. The President’s budget also calls for a 10-year plan to get the National Parks rehabilitated in time for their 2016 centennial–by selling private companies the rights to name trails and facilities. An idea he cribbed from his buddy, Richard Pombo, who, after his November whuppin’ is nonetheless probably quite pleased with this budget scenario.

    —Jen Phillips

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    SIX TRUTHS

    Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

    Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

    Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

    Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

    Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

    Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

    Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

    Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

    And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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