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Environmentalist Says Fiscal Cliff Threat Not Equal For All

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Going over the Fiscal Cliff promises tax hikes and spending cuts but an environmentalist says there have already been so many cuts in some areas; the threat is hardly across the board.

A couple of years ago, former Senator Alan Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles co-chaired a deficit reduction panel that released a plan so controversial the panel itself couldn't agree on it.

But Scott Slesinger of the Natural Resources Defense Council says many of its recommendations were not DOA.

"If it had been in place, if it had been agreed to, the programs we're talking about would be getting substantially more money. In other words, these programs have taken all the cuts that have been put in place since 2010," says Slesinger.

Things like Amtrak, the Park Service and the Coast Guard.

Slesinger says the Fiscal Cliff cuts would then doubly penalize outfits that have already tightened their belts. He recommends ending tax breaks for oil and coal producers, and restoring a per oil barrel tax for the SuperFund.

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