“For an agency keen to regulate every puddle from a rainstorm, the EPA has proven itself remarkably inept when it comes to managing its own affairs,” said Flake. “After years of handing out blank checks in the form of omnibus appropriations bills and continuing resolutions, it’s time for Congress to return to regular order and restore accountability at the EPA.”
Featuring over a dozen instances of flagrant waste, the Science of Splurging highlights some of the following:
- $1,100,000 to pay the salaries of eight employees who were not working due to being placed on administrative leave
- $3,500,000 to fund “Planning for Economic and Fiscal Health” workshops across the country
- $1,500,000 annually to store out-of-date and unwanted publications at an Ohio warehouse
- $700,000 to attempt to reduce methane emitted from pig flatulence in Thailand
- $900,000 in salary, benefits and improper bonuses paid to an oft-absent employee who fraudulently claimed to be an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency
While every instance of tax dollar misuse is outrageous and unacceptable, that the EPA has been paying employees to not work is probably at the top of the “Peak Aggravation” chart. How nice it would be to spend an entire year getting paid, but not working. At least four EPA employees were fortunate enough to catch up daytime TV while bilking taxpayers, according to Flake’s report.
Then of course there was the time the EPA commissioned a $40,000 portrait of former, disgraced administrator, Lisa Jackson, and also the time the EPA tried to buy tweets about diarrhea to research stomach flu and let’s not forget when the EPA paid out over half a million dollars in improper bonuses to “retain employees with unique qualifications.”
If there was a contest to see which government agency most creatively wasted tax dollars, the EPA would be a serious contender.
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