Friday, November 27, 2015

Obama spending Millions to Militarize the EPA

Friends, this is a story that was sent to me regarding wasteful spending in our government and the arming of an agency that does not need the military hardware.

The Environmental Protection Agency's mission is to protect human health and the environment. How does that mission necessitate purchasing military weapons for that agency? Why would they need to do so to do their job? What is wrong with citing someone and taking them to court for due process? Why would the EPA need guns?

On October 10th, 2015, the Washington Times, reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has spent millions of dollars over the last decade on military-style weapons to arm its 200 "special agents".

Yes, MILLIONS of dollars to arm 200 EPA regulatory agents. Friends, that means that even if they spent just ONE Million to arm, that is a tremendous amount of money to arm a single person.

Supposedly this is to fight "Environmental crime." But really, why does the EPA need to purchase weapons, handguns and fully-automatic assault rifles, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities?

This from a new report by the watchdog group Open the Books leads us to ask what's going on in a time when the Obama administration is cutting spending on military equipment and arms -- and cutting the salaries of our troops?

"Protecting the environment just got real. With millions of dollars spent on military style weaponry, the EPA is now literally ensconced with all institutional force," said Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Open the Books and the author of the report.

"Our report discovered that when the EPA comes knocking they are armed with a thousand lawyers, arrest/criminal data, credit, business and property histories, plus a ‘Special Agent’ with the latest in weaponry and technology," Mr. Andrzejewski added.

The agency spends nearly $75 Million each year for criminal enforcement, including money for a small militia of 200 "Special Agents" who are supposedly in-charge of "fighting environmental crime."

Yes, the image of a  fully armed military SWAT Team from the EPA kicking down a door and frisking people because of an oil spill is not one that should come to mind when thinking about the EPA enforcing their regulations.

Congress granted police powers to the EPA in 1988, during the Reagan administration, to set up special agents to "enforce the nation’s laws by investigating cases, collecting evidence, conducting forensic analyses and providing legal guidance to assist in the prosecution of criminal conduct that threatens people’s health and the environment."

Nowhere does the law give them permission to arm, or say that they should be armed, or say that they should obtain military equipment to investigate cases, collect evidence, conduct forensic analyses and provide legal guidance. Besides the fact that there is nowhere in their statue that authorizes them to arm, the amount of money being spent on this just doesn't make any sense.

Believe it or not, as insane as it sounds, the EPA admits to the fact that each Special Agent costs taxpayers $216,000 per year in salary, travel, equipment, training and other expenses. And yes, the EPA's spending on military weapons is just one example of the agency’s questionable purchases highlighted in the 40-page report.

Open the Books, a nonpartisan and nonprofit group based in Illinois, scanned tens of thousands of the agency’s spending contracts totaling more than $93 billion from 2000 to 2014. Among the findings were hundreds of millions of dollars on high-end office furnishings, sports equipment and "environmental justice" grants "to raise awareness of Global Warming".

The report also reveals that seven of 10 EPA employees make more than $100,000 a year and more than 12,000 of its 16,000 employees were given bonuses last year despite budget cuts. The EPA also employs more than 1,000 attorneys, making it one of the largest law firms in the country.

And yes, to add insult to injury, the EPA also sent Millions of Dollars to so-called "International Organizations" -- mostly in support of Global Warming -- including groups in Mexico and China.

Friends, there are over 70 Federal Government agencies that have police powers. Yes, there are 70 agencies that have their own law enforcement agents. Just like the EPA, all are spending Millions of dollars to arm themselves.

Yes, this stinks! It stinks because this is all taking place while Americans are told that there will be Social Security cuts for Seniors, and cuts to disability benefits for Veterans. It also stinks because our troops are using worn out equipment and have not seen a cost of living salary increase. It stinks because federal agents for the EPA are making $100,000 a year and more for some agents, while our troops are on food stamps.

Obama cuts our military, cuts Social Security, cuts Veterans disability benefits, but finds funds for unnecessary military weapons for the EPA and other agencies. Friends, something is wrong when we have the Environmental Protection Agency arming themselves like some sort of small elite branch of our military -- all while the Obama administration cuts benefits and out military.

Frankly, I'm at the point of being fed up with this sort of wasteful spending. I've made up my mind that I will vote for any Republican who will close down the EPA and discontinue any other Federal agency who is doing things it was not originally created to do -- such as needlessly spending taxpayer dollars on weapons and gear!

Yes, that's just the way I see it.
Tom Correa

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