House investigators wrote the Port of Los Angeles yesterday to review the decision to spend almost half a million dollars in stimulus money on retrofitting a luxury yacht with environmentally-friendly engines.
"The Port of Los Angeles owes the public greater transparency about this project and a full accounting of the cost-benefit analysis used to justify spending on this type of project," House Oversight and Government Reform chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to the executive director of the port, Dr. Geraldine Knatz.
The Port of Los Angeles spent $489,000 of a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to retrofit a city-owned yacht with "hydro-electric propulsion system," according to Issa's letter, rather than the diesel engines it already had in operation. The yacht is used to conduct tours of the port.
"This is the American people’s money that was borrowed in stimulus," said House Oversight and Government Reform Chair Darrell Issa in a local CBS broadcast. "It was supposed to create net new jobs. Could that half a million dollars have been used better? Was this really just show without substance?"
You can read the full letter here.