GreenYes Digest V98 #20

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GreenYes Digest Sun, 25 Jan 98 Volume 98 : Issue 20

Today's Topics:
Size of subsidies (2 msgs)

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Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 19:05:50 EST
Subject: Size of subsidies

The efforts to locate, analyze and quantify taxpayer subsidies for cirgin
material acquisition are to be commended. Unfortunately, we may find from all
this work that such subsidies in fact aree not as significant as originally

For example, much has been said about the Clinton Administration's 18-month
ban on new road building by the U.S. Forest. While certainly an important
first step, I think it may be more symbolic than substantive. According to
Jack Ward Thomas, the past USFS agency chief and now a University of Montana
professor, the Forest Service has a network of 373,000 miles of authorized
roads in its forests and an additional 60,000 miles of unmanaged and
unofficial roadways. Many of these roads are causing erosion and only 40
percent of the roads are properly maintained, says Thomas.

The Administration's ban, though, will lead to the agency not building 95.2
miles of road, notes Thomas. Yep, just 95.2 miles (that's all the USFS had
proposed in its current budget).

It is smart to push for an end of the road subsidy given the forest products
companies. And it is smart to push for the end to other forms of corporate
welfare. And hopefully we'll be able to generate strong evidence of the size
and effect of such subsidies.

Jerry Powell


Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 22:41:20 EST
From: DavidOrr <>
Subject: Size of subsidies

With respect to Jerry Powell's question re subsidies:

The road building subsidy is a tiny part of the subsidy to the timber industry
on our national forests.

In 1996 alone, nearly $800 million of taxpayer appropriations was spent to cut
down trees, and not a dime was returned to the US Treasury.

That's a big chunk of change!


End of GreenYes Digest V98 #20