Tags: Sen. Jeff Flake | EPA | millions | report

Sen. Flake's Report: EPA Has Wasted Millions

By    |   Friday, 12 Dec 2014 05:12 PM

A startling report from Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake digs into more than a dozen examples of "wasteful grants and egregious spending" by the Environmental Protection Agency in a "mission creep… to expand its regulatory reach."

The revelations contained in "The Science of Splurging" includes employees illegitimately spending $15 million on agency credit cards and a whopping $9 million expenditure that the the agency lost track of for funding projects in California.

"Recent controversy involving the agency has focused on what some consider mission creep or efforts to expand its regulatory reach," Flake stated in his report, released earlier this month.

"If we can’t trust them with the relatively small things, how can they expect to be trusted with the kinds of monumental things they are reaching for [which many of us oppose in the first place]?"

In one example in the report, the EPA's Office of Inspector General singled out an instance where contractors hired by the agency to manage a warehouse instead turned into "man cave," where workers built unauthorized and hidden personal spaces they stocked with pin-ups, televisions, couches, and exercise equipment.

And though the contractor, Apex Logistics, inked its contract in 2007, EPA didn't inspect its warehouse management until 2013.

But the over-the-top expenditures weren't just limited to projects in the United States, The Daily Signal notes.

Flake's report notes the EPA's Global Methane Initiative aimed at advancing "cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a clean energy source," the agency donated $700,000 to Thailand’s Department of Livestock and Cooperation to help reduce methane from swine farms, and forked over more than $100,000 to the International Institute for Energy Conservation in India to determine if the capture of methane from distillery and wine waste was feasible.

"Since 2001, the EPA has spent $180 million in taxpayer money on grants to foreign governments, private entities, and nongovernmental organizations to fund projects that supposedly reduce global methane emissions," The Daily Signal writes.

The Flake report also decried the agency's spending of $3.5 million to fund "Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health" workshops across the country, and a $40,000 expenditure for a portrait of former Chief Administrator Lisa Jackson — who resigned in early 2013 amid a transparency scandal, The Daily Caller notes.

"For an agency keen to regulate every puddle from a rainstorm, the EPA has proven itself remarkably inept when it comes to managing its own affairs," Flake said in a statement, the Daily Caller reports.

The damning report comes as the EPA rolls out new environmental regulations that Republicans have vowed to fight back against when they take control of the Senate next year, the Daily Caller notes.

"After years of handing out blank checks in the form of omnibus appropriations bills and continuing resolutions, it’s time for Congress to return to regular order and restore accountability at the EPA," Flake said.

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A startling report from Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake digs into more than a dozen examples of "wasteful grants and egregious spending" by the Environmental Protection Agency in a "mission creep ... to expand its regularly reach."
Sen. Jeff Flake, EPA, millions, report
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2014-12-12
Friday, 12 Dec 2014 05:12 PM
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