Committee Discovers EPA Sending Millions of Taxpayer Dollars Overseas for Programs Like "Breathe Easy, Jakarta"

June 27, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders are demanding answers from Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on the agency's sending millions of taxpayer dollars overseas. Over the past decade, nearly $100 million has been handed out by the EPA to foreign governments and organizations. ...The committee recently learned that despite soaring unemployment, record deficits, and the looming debt ceiling deadline, the Obama EPA continues to hand out millions of dollars at an alarming rate to dozens of countries including China, Russia, and India as well as international organizations like the United Nations....

Committee investigative staff has compiled a report detailing 65 foreign grants (excluding Canada and Mexico) totaling more than $27 million that the EPA has handed out since the stimulus was signed into law in February 2009.

Among the foreign handouts from the last two years are:
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$718,000 to help China comply with both the Stockholm and Long Range Transport of Air Pollutants Convention
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$700,000 for Thailand to recover methane gas at 12 pig farms
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$1,226,841 for the United Nations to promote clean fuels
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$150,000 for INTERPOL to combat fraud in carbon trading
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$15,000 for Indonesia's "Breathe Easy, Jakarta" publicity campaign
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Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) are seeking documents and information related to this alarming spending of taxpayer dollars overseas....
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In the letter to EPA Administrator Jackson, the committee leaders write, "We hope you would agree that in these challenging economic times, with unemployment at over 9 percent, federal spending should reflect the priorities of the American people. This includes investment in the American economy and its greatest assets- the American worker and those who create the jobs they fill. Assisting the Chinese mining industry or the Chinese government with methane recovery would probably not occur to most Americans as the most valuable use of these funds- especially as China holds over $1.1 trillion in United States Treasury Securities. We are concerned that, more broadly, EPA's awarding of foreign grants reflects a surprising detachment from our nation's foremost priorities, including those in the environmental realm."
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Committee investigators continue to review the EPA Grant Awards Database for foreign projects that have indirectly benefitted from EPA grant awards through U.S. grantees.
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Click HERE for the Members' letter to EPA Administrator Jackson
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Click HERE for the alarming committee report detailing EPA's foreign handouts...
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Click HERE to see the list of 65 foreign grants (excluding Canada and Mexico) the EPA has awarded since the stimulus was signed into law....
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