EPA Gives Millions of Tax Dollars to Foreign Governments to Battle Pollution

At a time of rising joblessness, at a time when the White House and Congressional Democrats want to hit US citizens with more taxes to pay down the deficit, why is the Environmental Protection Agency continuing to spend millions of tax dollars on anti-pollution programs in countries like Canada, Mexico, Russia, China and India, as well as at the United Nations?

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are criticizing EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for continuing to set aside millions of tax dollars for these programs, which have cost more than $99 million over the last decade, by their estimates.

Many of the grants were doled out under prior administrations, though the GOP members say the EPA has now intensified this foreign grant program.

Republicans on the committee say in a statement that the pace of foreign grants has quickened under the Obama administration, with $27 million in EPA funds going abroad since early 2009 -- not counting projects in Canada and Mexico."

These elected officials have sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, which says theyve tallied up 320 anti-pollution grants to foreign governments and other organizations totaling more than $99 million over the last decade. And the GOP committee members, led by co-chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Cliff Stearns (R-Fl.), Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.), say in their letter dated June 27 to EPA administrator Jackson that an unknown amount of EPA grant money has also gone overseas indirectly via grants to U.S. universities and organizations doing work in other countries. That includes money to Brazil aimed at promoting landfill gas energy projects.

The letter writers add that the Obama Administration had previously offered to finance exploration by Brazils state-owned oil company, Petrobras, of an offshore discovery in Brazils Tupi oil field.

They note: The thought that additional federal resources are going to promote energy exploration in Brazil at a time of unprecedented restrictions on domestic energy exploration struck us as odd. Wouldnt that money be more properly spent, the letter writers add, on energy projects at home, which could create US jobs?

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee say in a statement that they have questions for EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on the EPA funding these overseas environmental programs with US tax dollars:

*$718,000 to help China battle air pollution, to comply with both the Stockholm and Long Range Transport of Air Pollutants Convention; *700,000 to Thailand to recover methane gas at 12 pig farms; *$1,226,841 to the United Nations to promote clean fuels; *$150,000 to Interpol to combat fraud in carbon trading; *$15,000 to Indonesias Breathe Easy, Jakarta publicity campaign; *$7.6 million to Russia total through March 2009, including money to battle methane emissions, among other things; *$2.3 million to Ukraine for environmental studies; *$400,000 to Poland to develop a clean-burning alternative fuel resource to achieve a significant reduction of methane emissions.; *$397,000 to Jordan beginning in 2009 to support Jordanian participation in this good governance capacity-building cooperation, including training on inspections, criminal enforcement and judicial awareness raising& *$219,120 to the U.K. for a scholarship program. *China got nearly a million dollars in US tax money to deal with pollution, including $180,000 to battle the release of methane at the countrys coal mines. The Committee has compiled a report detailing 65 foreign grants (excluding Canada and Mexico) totaling more than $27 million that the EPA has handed out since the stimulus was signed into law in February 2009.