CAGW takes closer look at Fiscal 2010 energy, water pork

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 5, 2009 -- Citizens Against Government Waste today released its preliminary analysis of the Senate version of the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill...

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 5, 2009 -- Citizens Against Government Waste today released its preliminary analysis of the Senate version of the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. In this year's version, there are 622 projects worth $990 million. Two of the biggest porkers were Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) with 41 projects worth $132,000,000 and Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Bryon Dorgan (D-N.D.) with 16 projects worth $89,000,000. Their combined dollar total accounts for 22.4 percent of the funding in the bill.

Here are a few examples of pork that senators managed to cram into the bill:
• $606,941,000 for 415 projects directed to the Army Corps of Engineers, which amounts to 61 percent of the dollar total in the bill, including $2,000,000 by Senate appropriator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Sens. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Jim Webb (D-Va.) for Chesapeake Bay oyster recovery and $1,000,000 by Sen. Cardin for submerged water aquatic vegetation research in Maryland.

• $2,000,000 by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) for algae biofuels research at Washington State University, and $750,000 by Senate appropriator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) for the Vermont Biofuels Initiative, both focusing on expanding biofuels production. According to an April 2009 article in The Economist, the International Council for Science concluded that "the production of biofuels has aggravated rather than ameliorated global warming."

• $1,869,000 by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) for the Fort Peck Cabin Conveyance. House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.) secured $1.5 million for this project, and his July 8 press release explained, "Those folks living around the lake … should also be able to own and maintain their cabins." There are approximately 220 residents of Fort Peck; it is considered one of the most remote regions in Montana.

• $1,250,000 by Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee member Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) for research into long-term environmental and economic impacts of the development of a coal liquefaction sector in China. With a record budget deficit and fast-rising national debt (and even without those problems), this earmark is not necessary.

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

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