Occupy Occupy DC Demands Oversight Hearings into EPA Grantmaking
by David Almasi
Washington, D.C. - "Occupy Occupy D.C." activists have demanded that Congress hold oversight hearings about possibly politicized grants made by the federal agency, and related issues. The need for hearings, first suggested in 2012 by the National Center for Public Policy Research in light of EPA grants made to the Pacific Institute, currently embroiled in an ethics scandal, has been heightened by the EPA's scrubbing of its public grants database on or around February 23, 2012.
"The EPA's decision to remove information about grants made to the Pacific Institute from the public database, first revealed by the website JunkScience.com, immediately after the National Center for Public Policy Research filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information about those grants is suspicious," said National Center Chairman Amy Ridenour.
The National Center is concerned that the EPA is making grants to organizations involved in policy advocacy, an inappropriate use of taxpayer monies. "With our spiraling deficit, the last thing the American people need to pay for is someone else's political mudslinging," added David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research and director of the National Center’s “Occupy Occupy DC” project. "Not only is politicized grantmaking a waste of taxpayer money, it is illegal."
Occupy Occupy DC activists are asking Congress to review the grants made during the last two Administrations to make certain sufficient standards of objectivity are in place; to obtain the views of respected scientists as to whether the EPA grant program is focusing its resources in the most promising areas; and to examine the question of whether the grant program, at a time of massive deficits, is set at an appropriate spending level.
The National Center has obtained a five-week permit for Freedom Plaza to share Freedom Plaza with left-wing protesters. Since February 13, 2012 it has sponsored noontime events every weekday.