WASHINGTON, D.C. - "Outrage of the Year" - that is what U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, is calling the distribution of tax dollars to China by the Obama Administration, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to promote its climate change agenda. This information comes from a report released by Congressman Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"As the White House calls Congressional leaders to a meeting to address our nation's debt and spending crisis, a report recently released by Congressman Fred Upton shows that the Obama EPA has been spending millions of taxpayer dollars in places like China - a country we already owe 1.2 trillion - to promote its liberal climate change agenda," Senator Inhofe said. "This is truly the outrage of the year.
"When I became Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2003, I made it a priority to provide greater oversight over how EPA spends our tax dollars. By 2004, EPA was required to implement a new competition policy for awarding funds and maintain a Grants Award Database so that taxpayers could view EPA's spending information online.
"Chairman Upton's report makes use of this database: it shows that EPA has awarded $718,000 to China's EPA to assist with control of air emissions, $700,000 to Thailand to collect methane from pig farms and $150,000 to Interpol for climate change programs. Since 2009, $27 million in taxpayer dollars has been sent to foreign countries."
When I became Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in January 2003, I laid out a number of goals. As the committee which oversees the work of the Environmental Protection Agency, I made it clear that we would regularly conduct oversight of EPA regulation, to ensure EPA was not wasting our tax dollars.
One of the ways I identified that we were going to ensure EPA was a good steward of taxpayer dollars was in the way EPA awards grants to a variety of recipients because EPA was awarding millions of dollars to extremist environmental organizations. These are the same organizations who regularly sued the EPA and were awarded attorneys fees. On one hand they were suing EPA and getting taxpayer money. On the other hand they were getting grants from EPA. The situation needed exposed. And I exposed it.
Of EPA's approximately $10 billion annual budget, did you know that it awards about half of that every single year in grants? EPA awards grants to recipients such as state, local, tribal governments, non-profit organizations, foreign recipients, and educational institutions to brainwash our kids.
On March 3, 2004, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held its first oversight hearing into grants management at the EPA.
I said at that hearing, "I want to announce to all of you today that this Committee is going to take this oversight responsibility seriously in regards to grants management. I am going to make a personal commitment that it is going to change this time. We are going to have accountability."
The Committee heard testimony from the Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, and Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Through investigations, reports, and hearings, I discovered big problems.
The problems included a general lack of oversight of the grantees, a lack of oversight of the Agency personnel, a lack of any measurement of environmental results, and a lack of competition in awarding grants.
In fact, at the March 2004 hearing before my Committee, the EPA Inspector General testified about an audit conducted of one discretionary grant recipient, a non-profit organization that received a total of almost $5 million in five grants. EPA's oversight was so bad that the Inspector General's audit concluded with the finding that federal grant dollars were making their way to liberal lobbying organizations. Let me read to you the short conclusion of the OIG's report from her testimony, "Therefore, although EPA funds were awarded to a 501(c)(3) organization, in actuality, a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization performed the work and ultimately received the funds. This arrangement clearly violates the Lobbying Disclosure Act prohibition on a 501(c)(4) organization which engages in lobbying from receiving Federal funds."
In other words, unelected bureaucrats were using our tax dollars for lobbying.
So we started changing things, we forced EPA to implement a new competition policy for awarding funds.
One of the major changes that continues to exist to this day is new transparency. I forced the EPA to start the Grants Award Database which is still featured on EPA's website. It used to be more prominently featured on EPA's main page. Now, you have to look for it further. However, it's still there. It provides you with a database of all EPA grants for the past number of years and it updated many times each year. This allows the general public to see what EPA is awarding with their taxpayer dollars.
In the House, Chairman Upton recently provided a list of grant awards on EPA Grant Award Database to foreign governments. Let me provide a couple of examples:
- EPA awarded $700,000 to Thailand to collect methane from pig farms.
- EPA awarded $150,000 to Interpol (an international police agency) for climate change programs
Chairman Upton found another $27 million in examples.
Why is this important today? As you know, I was the guy who stopped the Senate from passing global warming cap and trade legislation. It took 10 years.
Now you also know that President Obama is trying to pass, through EPA regulations, what he couldn't pass legislatively. That would be a $300-400 billion tax increase.
But, what you don't know is that the Obama EPA is sending out grants to countries to implement cap and trade that he couldn't get done in this country.
Are you ready for this...The Outrage of the Year:
- EPA awarded $718,000 to China's EPA to assist with control of air emissions. Keep in mind that this is the same China we already owe $1.2 trillion.
- We are sending your tax dollars to China to promote the liberal climate agenda that he couldn't pass here at home.
And now some of our Republicans running for the Presidential Nomination are getting wobbly on the global warming issue. I believe the global warming issue will be one of the major issues - if not the major issue - in determining who will be the Republican nominee for President.
In the meantime, during our fiscal crisis, the Obama EPA is sending our tax dollars to China. It's not believable, but it's true.
Outrage of the Year? Yea!