In a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Energy and the Environment; EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson appeared unaware of a wasteful public engagement program being sponsored by her agency and promoted on her own website.
In an exchange with Rep. Steve Scalilse (LA-1) about the rulemaking contest ( video ), Administrator Jackson confessed, "I didn't prepare to look at it for this hearing." Jackson declined to commit to reconsider this wasteful use of taxpayer dollars.
The exchange follows a letter Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) sent to President Obama last week asking him to withdraw the offer of a taxpayer funded "prize." Following the hearing, Blackburn said:
"The EPA Administrator today admitted that federal 'rules are not free.' I am stunned that she was unaware that her agency is compounding the cost of those rules in terms of compliance cost and lost jobs with an additional $2,500.00 in taxpayer funded prize money. This is a perfect example of how waste happens in Washington; a low level bureaucrat dedicates taxpayer resources to a wasteful purpose and the agency head, asleep at the switch, does nothing to stop them."
To highlight the waste of the project and the cost of federal rulemaking, Blackburn plans to submit her own YouTube video in the contest. She is asking her constituents to share their stories about the impact federal rules have had in their lives. Blackburn's Bartlett and Franklin offices will be open this Friday from 3:00 - 5:00 Central Time so that constituents can share their stories.