July 9, 2008

Pork Alert: Energy and Water

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of the House version of the Fiscal 2009 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act. This year, there are 655 projects, costing taxpayers a total of $821 million.

The top five porkers for Energy and Water are Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-S.D.) with $32.3 million; Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) with $28.5 million; House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) with $27.62 million; House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member David Hobson (R-Ohio) with $27.6 million; and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) with $25 million.

Like so many other appropriations bills, the Energy and Water Development Act is awash in wasteful spending. Here are some outrageous examples of pork in the bill:

-- $5 million by House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee member Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) for construction in rural Idaho.

-- $1.35 million by House appropriator Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) for the Rolls Royce solid oxide fuel systems development. Rolls Royce's automobiles sell at prices ranging from $250,000 to more than $400,000.

-- $600,000 by House Energy and Water Appropriation Subcommittee member John Olver (D-Mass.) for the Wisdom Way Solar Village. The village has already received $1.89 million in loans from the state of Massachusetts. The project will consist of 20 homes with 11 of the homes sold to people of low income; seven will be sold to people of moderate income; and two are for individuals with disabilities. The combined state and federal subsidy comes out to $124,500 per home, which is not smart for the taxpayers.

-- $210,000 by House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Ed Pastor (D-Ariz) for the Native American Affairs Program and the Sid Yates Scholarship Program, under the heading of "Water and Related Resources."

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.