U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today chaired a hearing on his legislation, H.R. 4245, the "Accountability in Grants Act of 2012." This bill will prohibit the EPA from awarding money under Section 103 of the Clean Air Act for programs or activities that take place outside of the United States.
"It is outrageous how EPA has abused its discretion in allocating funds through these grants," Whitfield said. "At a time when our economy is struggling and Congress faces difficult spending decisions here at home, we cannot afford to spend millions in taxpayer dollars for so-called environmental projects in foreign countries. As an example, I just can't understand why we would be sending $180,000 to China for coal mining purposes while EPA is doing everything they can here in the United States to prevent coal from being mined and used. We need to ensure accountability for taxpayer dollars at every level, and this bill reins in irresponsible spending by the EPA."
Under the Clean Air Act, EPA presently has issued grants for programs and projects around the world. Some examples of the projects EPA has supported through foreign grants include:
$141,450 to China to "quantify the environmental impacts from different biogas digesters used to treat swine manures in China,"
$150,000 for clean cooking technology in Kenya,
$180,000 to train Polish municipalities on landfill gas, and
$1,226,841 for the United Nations to promote clean fuels.