Obama Administration's Answer to Soaring Unemployment & Looming Debt Ceiling: "Breathe Easy, Jakarta"

July 7, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders are demanding more answers from Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on the agency's sending millions of taxpayer dollars overseas. Committee investigative staff recently released a report detailing 65 foreign grants (excluding Canada and Mexico) in excess of $27 million that the EPA has handed out since the stimulus was signed into law in February 2009. Further review of the EPA's database has revealed significant discrepancies.

For example, the EPA's database lists $15,000 for Indonesia's "Breathe Easy, Jakarta" publicity campaign while an EPA press release and blog posting from February 2010 boast an initial EPA investment of $450,000 for the project.  In addition to the $450,000, the committee also discovered EPA's soliciting of proposals for up to $1.5 million for the "Breathe Easy, Jakarta" campaign. The proposals were due by April 15, 2011, at 11:59p.m. EST. The committee leaders are concerned that the EPA could be sending millions of additional taxpayer dollars overseas without disclosing them in the public database, subsidizing foreign companies and governments at a time of soaring unemployment, record deficits, and the looming debt ceiling deadline.

In addition to seeking documents and information related to the EPA's spending of taxpayer dollars overseas, 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 now seeking further answers on the EPA database's glaring discrepancies as well as an accounting of the legal authority for the grants. 

The committee leaders write, "We are concerned that the database provides neither a complete record of EPA grants awarded or committed to in recent years nor the applicable statutory authorities under which those grants are conferred - in our view, two rather crucial missing details."

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.

Click HERE for the committee leaders' July 6 letter to EPA Administrator Jackson

Click HERE for the committee leaders' June 27 letter to EPA Administrator Jackson

Click HERE for the alarming committee report detailing EPA's foreign handouts 

Click HERE to see the list of 65 foreign grants (excluding Canada and Mexico) totaling more than $27 million (according to the EPA's database) awarded since the stimulus was signed into law. 

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