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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Senate report details how EPA officials divert millions of tax dollars to activist groups

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Senate,EPA,David Vitter

Are tax dollars being channeled through the Environmental Protection Agency to Democratic activists working in the nonprofit sector?

A comprehensive new report released Wednesday by the Republican staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee makes clear that the answer to that question is yes. The report is entitled "The chain of environmental command."

Major mainstream media which generally parrot the perspectives and analyses of the environmental movement have utterly ignored the report.

This isn't news?

One would think that millions of tax dollars being directed by government officials with significant conflicts of interest would be significant news at the New York Times and the Washington Post.

But searches on both of those websites turned up zero coverage of the report, which was produced under the direction of Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, the committee's ranking minority member.

Here are just four of the conclusions described in the report's executive summary regarding government funding of environmental nonprofits:

• Former far-left environmentalists working at EPA funnel government money through grants to their former employers and colleagues, often contributing to the bottom line of environmental activist groups.

• Under President Obama, EPA has given more than $27 million in taxpayer-funded grants to major environmental groups. Notably, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund – two key activists groups with significant ties to senior EPA officials – have collected more than $1 million in funding each.

• EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck appears to be inappropriately and personally involved in the allocation of EPA grants to favored groups. Enck is also the subject of an inquiry led by the EPA Office of Inspector General.

• EPA also gives grants to lesser-known extreme groups. For example, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade received hundreds of thousands of grants under former Administrator Lisa Jackson despite challenges by state regulators over the use of such grants.

It wasn't that long ago that MSM silence could disappear an important government report, but thanks to the Internet, that's no longer the case.

This report isn't going away any time soon and it almost certainly will be the impetus for legislative action and a great deal of public debate.

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