SEPTEMBER 06, 2011
Though it has raked in upwards of $10 million in just a few months, a program that works to bring “environmental justice” to poor and minority communities keeps receiving a steady flow of taxpayer dollars even as the federal debt sits at historically high levels.It’s all part of the Obama Administration’s effort to help low-income populations obtain the same degree of protection from health and environmental hazards as wealthy communities. In less than a year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has doled out millions of dollars to leftwing groups— including some dedicated to helping illegal immigrants—that teach black, Latino and indigenous folks how to recycle, reduce carbon emissions through “weatherization” and participate in “green jobs” training.A few days ago the agency gave New Orleans-area groups $487,500 in “environmental justice, job training and education grants” to recruit and train candidates for “environmental jobs.” Candidates will learn how to “provide air quality sampling,” according to the EPA’s announcement. This shows the agency is committed to creating “green jobs and reaching out to low-income and minority communities that often bear the brunt of environmental degradation,” says the area’s regional administrator.The allocation comes just weeks after the EPA dropped $6.2 million to train low-income residents for “green jobs” in Atlanta. That chunk of taxpayer money went to “community groups” that promised to “recruit, train and place unemployed, predominately low-income residents in polluted areas.” The Obama Administration promises that the investment will “create good, green jobs that protect the health of local families and residents…”Shortly before that brilliant investment, the EPA financed a $7 million study to determine how pollution, combined with stress and other social factors, affects people in “poor and underserved communities.” The goal is to rid underserved communities of extensive pollution-based problems. EPA Chief Lisa Jackson launched the costly justice campaign because she claims poor and minority communities have little voice in environmental decisions while they suffer living in the shadow of the worst pollution.In Jackson’s short tenure the EPA, which was created 40 years ago to protect the environment and human health, has become a bastion of costly leftwing programs and a symbol of Obama’s big government crusade. The agency’s budget has surged 34% (to $10.3 billion) since Jackson took over and nearly half of it goes to grants that fund state environmental programs, nonprofits and educational institutions that help promote Jackson’s agenda.Earlier this year a House committee revealed that Jackson’s EPA has sent nearly $30 million to environmental causes overseas, including China, Russia and India. Among the “foreign handouts” were $1.2 million for the United Nations to promote clean fuels, $718,000 to help China comply with two initiatives and $700,000 for Thailand to recover methane gas at pig farms.
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