A new report on the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of taxpayer money found that the agency is spending millions of dollars on just about everything but the environment.
According to the report, out from transparency nonprofit Open the Books, the EPA spent more than $15 million dollars on outside marketing and public relations between 2000 and 2014 despite having 200 full-time PR workers on staff.
The agency’s full-time PR staff cost taxpayers an additional $142 million in salaries and $1.5 million in bonuses since 2007.
The report also found several other areas of questionable EPA spending.
"The EPA wasting $160 million on public relations dwarfs our recent exposure of their high-end furniture purchases ($92 million)," Adam Andrzejewski, the founder of Open the Books, said. "Nothing is emblematic of government excess like an army of highly compensated PR agents sitting in their easy chairs. It’s simply waste."
Other questionable expenses included $17,820 the agency spent on "Games, Toys and Wheeled Goods," $261,456 spent on badges and insignia and $23,884 spent on awards and trophies for EPA ceremonies.
"Everyone is under the impression that the EPA is spending money to ‘clean the environment.’ But, it turns out EPA is running a $160 million PR Machine, $715 million police agency, a near $1 billion employment agency for seniors, and a $1.2 billion in-house law firm," Andrzejewski said.
During the first six years of the Obama administration, EPA spending spiked by 35.2 percent ($2.5 billion).
Here’s the full Open the Books report: