The Environmental Protection Agency, which ran up millions in unnecessary expenditures during former President Barack Obama’s administration, has had its checkbook taken away by President Donald Trump.
“New EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately,” read an email to the agency’s Office of Acquisition Management that was sent out within hours of the president’s swearing-in ceremony Friday, according to The Washington Post.
This move was expected to be only temporary but would allow the administration time to review the agency’s sometimes frivolous grants and programs.
“We want to make sure that grants reflect the new administration and that money is not being wasted,” said Doug Ericksen, the Trump transition team’s communications lead for the EPA, as noted by E&E News. “President Trump is obviously concerned about taxpayer money.”
According to The Verge, the temporary freeze was enough to spur “a huge outcry in the scientific community,” whose members were clearly passionate about science but lacking in fiscal wisdom.
The fact is that the EPA has a long history of wasting taxpayer dollars. In a report published three years ago by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, for instance, it was revealed that since 2001 “(t)he EPA has administered more than $180 million in foreign grants … sometimes to wealthy nations or countries that are downright unfriendly to us.”
Perhaps reducing such expenses might be a good idea? Plus, a temporary freeze was not all that unexpected.
“They’re trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen — so any regulations going forward … they want to make sure to look at them first,” Myron Ebell, who oversaw the EPA transition for the administration, told ProPublica. “This may be a little wider than some previous administrations, but it’s very similar to what others have done.”
All in all, it was a simple and expected procedure — but one that some liberals and liberal scientists nonetheless appeared to believe was apocalyptic in nature.
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