Trimming pork the green way

  Hoping to force the Republican Congress to keep its word and cut the budget, environmentalists and liberal Democrats have targeted dozens of federally subsidized programs. The 40-page Green Scissors Report, written by Friends of the Earth and the National Taxpayers Union, aims to trim $33 billion in federal pork. Colorado's long-delayed and controversial Animas-LaPlata dam project ranks as one of the report's choicest cuts. Taxpayers could save $462 million, authors say, if the Bureau of Reclamation cancels the complex diversion project which promises to provide virtually unaffordable water to irrigators in southwest Colorado. Other projects on the list include royalty-free public-land mining - $1 billion; taxpayer-subsidized logging roads in national forests - $500 million; and dirt-cheap franchise fees for concessionaires operating within national parks - $240 million. Hoping to push for reform from within Congress, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., recently introduced the Public Resources Deficit Reduction Act, which sets its sights on many of the same subsidies. Barney Frank, D-Mass., calls the proposed cutbacks a "test of the attachment of our right-wing friends to the free market." The Green Scissors Report costs $10 per copy and is available from Public Interest Publications, 800/537-9359. - Ross Freeman

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