Opposing PA Budget Cuts to Environment and Transit

The Green Party of Allegheny County is opposed to the Pennsylvania House Republican plan to plug a state budget shortfall with cuts to essential services and environmental protections, putting corporate profits over people and planet.

Some of the proposed provisions include harmful effects to our environment and health: reducing environmental protection by cutting funding to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); blocking of implementing new standards for reducing air pollution and allowing the coal industry to dump toxic manganese into rivers and streams; automatically approving oil and gas permits even if not processed by the DEP, and allowing operations to continue under expired permits [2].

These regulations would hurt our health by encouraging more pollution in our air and water — explicitly against our Pennsylvania Constitutional rights to clean air and water! — as well as do nothing to address the urgent climate change crisis.

Other proposed provisions take funding away from public transit, resulting in elimination of up to half of all bus routes as well as taking funding from needed infrastructure repairs [1]. Funding of state parks and historic sites is also on the chopping block.

Aside from the callous nature of the cuts, such cuts are only short term accounting tricks and do not fix the budgeting issues long term anyway.

The Green Party’s Green New Deal [3] includes putting people and planet over profit by creating good jobs switching quickly to clean renewable energy and heavily investing in modernizing our infrastructure. It also protects our environment and our health while combating climate change, and provides for an “economic bill of rights” to help all Americans, including universal single-payer healthcare and free college education. We call on state representatives and senators to oppose these budget tricks and instead begin implementing the Green New Deal at the state level.

We encourage concerned citizens to contact their state representatives and senators about the proposed budget tricks.

[1] http://wesa.fm/…/proposed-cuts-state-budget-plan-would-deva…

[2] https://www.pennfuture.org/Blog-Item-The-State-Budget-Negot…

[3] http://www.gp.org/green_new_deal

#PABudget #GreenNewDeal #environment #publictransit