Republicans on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee are investigating the billion-dollar environmental justice grant program initiated by the Biden administration. There are concerns that the program may have potential waste, fraud, and abuse. Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and Rep.
Pat Fallon, R-Texas, informed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan of their intent to investigate the program through a letter that requested documents, information, and a staff-level briefing.
The program in question is part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a $739 billion climate and tax bill signed by President Biden in August 2021. The IRA has earmarked tens of billions of dollars for environmental justice spending, which includes $3 billion for two EPA programs aimed at advancing environmental justice.
The programs are the Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Program (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and the Environmental Justice Government-to-Government (EJG2G) Program.
Comer and Fallon cited a 2021 EPA report that found abuse in past environmental justice programs, as they questioned the environmental justice grant program. The report showed that organizations receiving federal funding had defined environmental issues too broadly.
The lawmakers also expressed concerns about the lack of oversight mechanisms in the programs and the inadequate metrics for applicants. They pointed out that there was a need to avoid funneling money into vague projects that would enable a $100 million slush fund for far-left organizations.
The Republicans highlighted that the EPA’s budget had skyrocketed from $17.2 billion to $76.5 billion, and it needed to ensure waste was prevented as it doled out more federal funding than ever before.
They added that the increasing size of the EPA alone “prompts review of the agency’s ability to properly manage its rapidly inflated budget.” Fallon emphasized that taxpayers deserve assurance that their dollars are spent on programs that are protected from waste, fraud, and abuse.
The EPA is yet to comment on the matter, but Republicans are determined to use all available tools to ensure government agencies that received taxpayer dollars are meeting their missions. The American people deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent on programs that work.
The Oversight Committee is putting the American people first by bringing transparency to the allocation of billions of taxpayer dollars to the EPA under the Democrats’ so-called Inflation Reduction Act. Republicans remain committed to holding them accountable.
In conclusion, the Republicans’ investigation into the environmental justice grant program highlights the need for accountability in government spending. As taxpayers’ money is allocated to environmental programs, there must be transparency to ensure that the funds are spent on programs that work.
It is the duty of the Oversight Committee to investigate concerns of potential waste, fraud, and abuse in government spending, and Republicans remain committed to holding the government accountable.