Environmental programs facing the funding axe include:
- a 40 percent cut, a $98 million reduction, to the Weatherization Assistance Program, which conserves energy by helping low-wage workers and retirees on fixed incomes to insulate their homes.
- $44 million cut from clean water funding.
- a 60% cut to Land and Water Conservation Fund which offers matching grants to States and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.
- a reduction of the endangered species recovery program by 7.5 percent for a $5.5 million cut.
- elimination of the Landowner Incentive and Private Stewardship Grants programs, which help private landowners conserve at-risk wildlife - a $29 million cut.
- $400 million cut from rail travel (Amtrak)
- $4 million cut from the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences
- proposals are also tabled to sell up to 950 million acres of federal lands to raise $334 million over 10 years. The money is needed to fund schools in rural areas, which the US can't otherwise afford while spending $195 million a day on the war in Iraq.
All in, Bush's budget cuts appropriated funding for natural resources and the environment by nearly $1.5 billion. The sole winner in the environment was the National Park System, which saw a budget increase of $258 million in preparation for the park system's 100th birthday in 2016.
It's time for the Democrats to earn their pay cheques.