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  • EPA Doles-Out Taxpayer Dollars to Environmentalist Activist Groups

    In November 2009, a dozen protesters triggered a traffic jam in an intersection of Chicago’s financial sector by laying down in a circle in the middle of the road, locking their arms together inside pieces of pipe. They were protesting the city’s climate exchange, part of a scheme to regulate CO2 emissions through permits. Ironically, it was a case of a left-leaning plan being attacked by the far left.

    After a few hours, the activists were arrested, including among their ranks members of groups like the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, about six months later, the agency awarded LVEJO a $25,000 environmental justice grant, which was to be directed to “…work[ing] in coalition with their partners to implement 3 areas of Climate Change Mitigation…” The first “area” is to “…conduct a grassroots Clean Power Campaign in the Chicago Region to address coal power plant emissions…”

    If EPA’s grant was an attempt get LVEJO to change its tactics, it doesn’t seem to have worked. After getting the grant, a half dozen activists from LVEJO and other groups were arrested after climbing the fence to a coal-fired power plant and unfurling a banner that read: “Close Chicago’s Toxic Coal Plant.” Even amid America’s deficit crisis, the EPA has enough walking-around money to fund green radicals harassing EPA-regulated businesses in President Barack Obama’s hometown — coincidentally, the same President who spoke of bankrupting new coal-fired power plants.

    Although the rest of the nation has had to tighten its belt, that has not been the case for the EPA. The Obama Administration’s first budget increased EPA funding to $10.3 billion, a whopping 36% over the preceding fiscal year. While the President’s current budget request is down from the all-time high, it is still more than 20% over the FY 2008 budget.

    As we search for means to cut Washington’s waste, grants like the one to LVEJO should move to the front of the line, where it should have lots of company. According to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, there are 2,141 federal grant programs with some 109 coming out of the EPA. By the EPA’s own grant database, over the last ten years, the agency has bellied up to the bar and bought drinks for many of its friends at the taxpayers’ expense. Within the past decade, the EPA awarded or continues to have open more than 7,500 grants, totaling $3,847,160,250 to non-profit groups alone.

    While some EPA grant recipients like the American Lung Association may seem more palatable than LVEJO, many have shown themselves to be reliable reactionaries for the EPA. The American Lung Association recently came to the agency’s defense, stating:

    Polluters and some members of Congress want to interfere with EPA’s ability to protect public health. Most Americans believe that the Clean Air Act needs protecting. We are fighting hard to prevent anyone from weakening or undermining the law or the protective standards the law provides. We are fighting to ensure EPA has the legal authority and necessary funding to continue to protect public health.”

    Exactly what kind of nefarious plans by “[p]olluters and some members of Congress” to damage public health is the American Lung Association seeking to thwart?  One of their efforts is targeted at defeating a bill that seeks to stop the EPA from doing an end run around Congress and regulating greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide – under the Clean Air Act. Money can’t buy passion like that, but if it could, the 164 EPA grants to various American Lung Association groups totaling over $20,000,000 within the past decade might help.

    Other EPA grantees grab grants of tax dollars in one hand while collecting attorney fees from the federal government with the other. Wild Earth Guardians, for example, states in its annual report that it received grants not only from the EPA, but also the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service, which, along with state, county and city grants, totaled well over a half million in 2009.

    The Washington Post recently reported on a settlement between Wild Earth Guardians and the federal Government “that could pave the way for an avalanche” of endangered species. Under the settlement the US Fish and Wildlife Service will take action on 251 species considered as “candidates” for addition to the Endangered Species List — along with 9 subspecies of the same species of pocket gopher in the state of Washington, 36 insects including 10 kinds of cave beetle, 18 clams and 23 snails is Digitaria pauciflora.

    For the non-botanists, the common name of this species is Florida Pineland crabgrass and yes, it belongs to the same group of crab grasses (it is one of 68 such species) that suburbanites constantly battle. The fear is that Florida Pineland crabgrass could be driven to extinction if global warming causes the oceans to rise and swallow the tip of southern Florida, this species’ habitat. While USFWS states this threat is “currently low, but expected to be severe in the future,” one must ask, even if the preposterous apocalyptic scenario played out, wouldn’t there be bigger worries like, say, the fate of Miami?

    The list goes on with environmental justice groups like North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN) and Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice. The former seeks to “to accomplish [its] goals through organizing, advocacy, research, and education based on principles of economic equity and democracy for all people.” The latter’s worldview (along with NCEJN’s), is outlined in “17 Principles of Environmental Justice” that it adopted.

    The preamble to that document states that, among other things, signatories “do hereby re-establish our spiritual interdependence to the sacredness of our Mother Earth…” and seek “to secure our political, economic, and cultural liberation that has been denied for over 500 years of colonization and oppression…”

    The EPA even has a history of giving taxpayer money to the California Indian Basketweavers Association, which doesn’t just dedicate itself “to preserving, promoting, and perpetuating California Indian basketweaving cultural traditions” but also champions “a healthy physical, social, spiritual, and economic environment for basketweavers…”

    Throwing money around like this goes far beyond waste. It is a brazen offense to most taxpayers. If Congress doesn’t have the will to slash this kind of stuff, what can it cut?

    Co-Authored by Meera Yogesh, a member of The Heritage Foundation Young Leaders Program.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    25 Responses to EPA Doles-Out Taxpayer Dollars to Environmentalist Activist Groups

    1. Chris Skates, Paduca says:

      Mr. Gordon's article is right on! The crux of the matter is that these leftist environmental groups must be brought under control. Congress must become accutely aware of some of these groups to determine their motives and their ultimate goals. I suspect that they will find those goals counter to what is best for the United States.

      Chris Skates

      Author of the novel, Going Green: For Some It Has Nothing To Do With The Environment.

    2. Ron Arnold, Bellevue says:

      This is one of the best pieces of investigative reporting I've seen in years. Rob Gordon not only reveals the gross mass stupidity of federal grants, he also had the good grace to link to his sources, which will help future researchers who might otherwise get lost trying to trace federal grants piecemeal. Great work, and keep it up. And thanks, Rob, from an old friend.

      Ron Arnold

      Executive Vice President

      Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise

    3. OutdoorsmanUSA says:

      Thank you for continuing to write about the ways that EPA is abusing, not utilizing, conservation dollars. This is an appalling abuse and is a waste/fraud/abuse red flag.

    4. Jee says:

      Please check out whetner Lung Association grants were laundered to pay for ads in the last California election. The ALA had ads against the anti-cap and trade proposition. The leader of the ALA appeared in the ads, and let me tell you, she looked uncomfortable..

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    6. George Colgrove, VA says:

      The EPA is a political organization paid for by taxdollars against the wishes and will of the people. It hurts business and stops growth. It is not an enumerated duty spelled out in the constitution and every state has a duplicative version of it.

      We do not need this agency and we do not need these politcal hacks redistributing our money – close it down.

    7. ROY S. MALLMANN II says:

      This is totally unacceptable and needs to be stopped as it is blatantly political.

    8. joecool says:

      It would be great for some conservative-minded folks to have a look-see within the WGBC (green building council), and the USGBC. Maybe they would find nothing, maybe they would find a lot to talk about. Who knows?

    9. Lee Calhoun, AZ says:

      I realize that many agencies misspend their funds, but to do away with the EPA, rather than clean it up, would put us where we don't want to be. Do we want pollution in our air and in our water? Don't tell me it doesn't exist, you can see it in the air and you can smell it in the water. Why do you think so many people buy bottled water – another way to pollute the environment?

    10. Madisonville says:

      EPA should be defunded and disbanded (done away with). 90% of the bureaucrats and useless and should be fired.

    11. George Ranville says:

      The EPA – is the enemy of freedom and conservative values in the United States. They reject all private property rights and are hell bent on destroying our free markets.

      Republicans need to shut it down – and let the states do the work. It is so in the Democrat / socialist camp, that everyone who works there needs to go with the coming change to a Republican administration. (Yes, I believe Obama will be defeated.) Keeping it open would be the same as a Republican President keeping all the Obama Cabinet members and czars – in place after winning an election. Shut it down. If the Dems win they can start a new one, if and when they ever win again.

    12. Hugh Holub Tubac Ari says:

      Excellent article !!!!

      Environmentalism has become America’s new religion …time to consider separation of church and state
      http://tucsoncitizen.com/view-from-baja-arizona/2

    13. Bill, Charleston WV says:

      Would all these non-profit environmental groups collapse without EPA grants? How much of their funding derives from the government agencies? This speaks into the whole hoax of global warming and the rest of the Left's agenda. It would be interesting to note how much government money is doled out to Right wing non-profits.

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    16. LarryG says:

      Think Soros, think the Tides Foundation, think green industry, think collusion with the current bog of corruption we call the government. We're behind the power curve with regard to energy independence thanks to these cranks and dimwit socialists. Nothing but retrogression at their hands not to mention what a boondoggle.

    17. Wes in cincy says:

      I have always said that there are a lot more whackos on the left than there is on the right. This is just more evidence.

    18. Steve Jones says:

      A few things immediately raised some red flags with regards to the theory of global warming. The first was the "emergency" status and being told that there is no time for further investigation. The second was the solution put forth that government had to control all industry to solve this emergency. I would think that planting large amounts of new trees would be considered but it wasn't. Looking further into it, I discovered the temperature charts that showed a one degree increase in temperature over a period of less than 160 years. It seemed odd that one could put faith in a trend on a planet who most agree is millions of years old using data for less than 160 years. Statistically, it's like putting one dot on an unraveled roll of Scott's bathroom tissue. Looking further into the data, I saw that hottest period was in the very early 20th century, before auto's were popular and before any major deforestation. If one looked at the data in 1920, one would come to an entirely different conclusion than the one put forth today. I then spent many months looking into the details of global warming and was left with the conclusion that a shift in wealth was the primary objective and not at all saving the planet. I'm disgusted that this hypothesis is being thought in public schools as fact and totally horrified at the money being used to fight a problem that has not been proven to exist and most certainly not been proven to be man-made.

      If you are a "believer" please consider why only one solution, a solution that involves a huge transfer of wealth, is the only solution to the problem. Further, please consider the possibility that a government that has run out of money and that survives on spending other peoples' money might want to put credence behind any plan that will replenish their coffers allowing their lavish spending practices to continue. If you really want to understand what is going on, follow the money, not the temperature.

    19. Helen - PA says:

      I'm glad the Heritage Foundation has reported this. It's terrible how the Obama Administration hands out money as if we didn't need trillions of dollars to pay on our deficeit. This is very corrupt.

    20. Crys, Pacific NW USA says:

      I very much believe that there needs to be some serious work done in DC. The EPA, as was pointed out above, is redundant, as every state has a Department of Environmental Quality or something similar. The only purpose that the EPA serves is giving the federal government an easier way to control businesses, since they don't have to seek state approval to enact rules.

      There are many redundancies in the federal government that actually damage this country, in many ways, not the least of which is draining federal tax dollars that just do not exist to fund them. The Department of Education is another of these…Education has no business being regulated or overseen at the federal level, since educational needs vary by region, by state. One could go on and on, but if Congress were truly serious about reducing the deficit, they would shut down dozens of federal agencies that are not needed, and they would stop foreign aid. As long as they continue to banter about carbon taxes, about "cutting" and "restructuring" Social Security and Medicare, and don't address the real leaks, then I will continue to believe that the decline of my country is exactly WHAT they want and exactly what the plan has been all along.

      Lastly…

      Listing CRABGRASS as an endangered species? Come now! Are thinking, rational, intelligent human beings not the true endangered species?

    21. Ray Watson Medford O says:

      The heritage foundation is a complete fraud. They beat the drum for complete privatization of everything but at the same time have government payed employees working at their centers and even doing the cleaning and maintenance of their buildings. The center that they built in the small town of Gardiner Montana on the border of Yellowstone Park, is so secretive that even in a small Montana town of 500 hundred people (where everybody knows everything about their neighbor) the locals do not even know they can go in the building. The center houses several high paid government researchers and get this, 2 full time and one part time librarians.

      This is the only area of the center the public is allowed to go but they do not let the locals or visiting tourist know this, so it is totally unused.

      They push smaller government heavily but as you see reading through their site they call over and over for congress appointing a committee to do this and congress appointing a committee to do that, it seems smaller government is not such a priority when it comes to themselves.

      They call for raising entrance fees for the public to use their own parks. These are not private property or private enterprises parks, these are the peoples parks and in the case of Yellowstone you are already paying 25 dallors to enter your own park? I don't think most people mind a small fee but that is ridicules and the heritage foundation wants to raise it even further.

      The Park Service tried contracting out camp ground maintenance several years ago to private enterprise and it was a complete failure. The private companies hired people for as little as they could pay them, had them driving long distances to remote locations and wondered why people were discouraged. The camp grounds were covered with litter, trash wasn't being removed, camping spaces were left a mess and in the end maintenance was turned back over to Park Service. Why would they think it would be any different this time. Private enterprises = Maximum profit at minimum cost i.e. low wages, part time employment = low moral, unmotivated workers = sloppy work.

      "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein, This quote seems to fit the bill for what the Heritage foundation is calling for.

      The Heritage foundation seems to be nothing more than another Tax Exempt secretive private enterprise that has it's fangs dug deep into the taxpayers back while at the same time demanding that taxpayers do with less in other areas so they themselves can be feed.

    22. walter mattson Roths says:

      Providing grants from the EPA is unbelievable. The EPA should be providing the facts on possible pollutants and proposing regulations. They must not engage in political bribes. Congress needs to limit their powers.

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    25. Donald Springer , Wi says:

      What ever happened to majority rule ? it seams to me as long as the left keeps screaming that the world is comeing to an end, and they need the money to save use all. That they keep getting funded, even if its for the crab grass endangered species ? I guess that our well fair as a nation ,and the well being of our citicens must come in some ware down the list.

      BELIVE IT OR NOT I HAVE A SALUTION! a simple amendment to our most presious Constitution, " That no bill can be passed into law unless it can stand on it's own merits" would put a stop to the Pork barrel spending and all the little unsean funds that are filtered through every day. One more benifit of something like this would be occountablity , something that has been lacking in politics for years.

      Just my two cents worth , are there any other like minded people out there? I guess we'll find out on the next election day.

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