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Le texte a été divulgué à une date mentionnée 2023-02-27 08:56:00.
FIRST ON FOX: Republican leaders on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee are investigating the Biden administration’s billion-dollar environmental justice grant program over concerns of potential waste, fraud and abuse.
Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, the chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy and Regulatory Affairs, informed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan in a letter Monday that they had initiated oversight into the program. The two GOP leaders requested documents, information and a staff-level briefing on the matter.
« The Oversight Committee is putting the American people first by bringing transparency to how billions of taxpayer dollars allocated to the EPA under the Democrats’ so-called Inflation Reduction Act are being spent, » Comer said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital.
« While doing nothing to reduce inflation, the IRA allocated billions of dollars to environmental grant programs that can’t even prove they deliver results for the environment, » he added. « The American people deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent on programs that work, and we will hold them accountable. »
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The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the $739 billion climate and tax bill President Biden signed in August, earmarked tens of billions of dollars for so-called environmental justice spending. The legislation included $3 billion for two EPA programs the agency said « will aggressively advance environmental justice and support projects like community-led air pollution monitoring, prevention and remediation. »
In January, the EPA announced it had made $100 million available for environmental groups under the IRA programs. The agency made another $550 million available late last week.
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« I couldn’t be prouder to now be announcing an unprecedented level of funding thanks to President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act for community-based solutions that support underserved and overburdened communities, » Regan said on Jan. 10.
The two programs — the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Program (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) Program — particularly focus on climate change mitigation, projects benefiting rural communities and projects that conduct health impact assessments.
Comer and Fallon cited a 2021 EPA report that found rampant abuse in past environmental justice programs. The report found that many organizations receiving federal funding had defined environmental issues they planned to address too broadly.
« Case studies of the EJCPS Program have already found that grantees failed to clearly define health or environmental concerns, articulate intended results, identify causes, and continued to engage in activities that ‘may not be effective’ and did ‘not logically lead to the desired environmental and/or public health [result],’ » the lawmakers wrote to Regan.
« Oversight mechanisms in these programs are lacking, and adequate metrics for applicants must be imposed to avoid funneling money into vague projects that will enable a $100 million slush fund for far-left organizations. »
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The Republicans noted that the EPA’s budget has skyrocketed from $17.2 billion to $76.5 billion and said the agency must ensure waste is prevented as it doles out more federal funding than ever before. They wrote that, in addition to the grant programs its oversees, the increasing size of the EPA alone « prompts review of the agency’s ability to properly manage its rapidly inflated budget. »
« American taxpayers deserve assurance that their dollars are dedicated to programs that are being protected from waste, fraud, and abuse, » Fallon said in a statement.
« Oversight Republicans will use all the tools at our disposal to make sure our government is held accountable for the spending-binge it conducted last Congress, and that government agencies who received taxpayer dollars are meeting their missions, » he added.
The EPA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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