For Release: February 24, 2012
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or (703) 568-4727 or [email protected]
Occupy Occupy D.C. Activists Call on Congress to Conduct Oversight Hearings into EPA Grantmaking
Washington, D.C. - "Occupy Occupy D.C." activists will gather just steps from the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency at noon on Friday, February 24 to demand that Congress hold oversight hearings about possibly politicized grants made by the federal agency, and related issues.
The need for hearings, first suggested two days ago 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 grantmaking database on or around February 23.
"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 D.C." project. "Not only is politicized grantmaking a waste of taxpayer money, it is illegal."
Activists will gather on Friday at noontime at Freedom Plaza (13th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) to call for a series of oversight hearings over possibly-politicized grants made by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Occupy Occupy D.C. 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 in order to share the plaza with left-wing "Occupy D.C." protesters. Since February 13, it has sponsored noontime events every weekday.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank with over 100,000 recent supporters. Contributions to it are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.