Republicans Question EPA Spending on Jakarta’s Air, China’s Cows

Photograph by Paul Hilton/Bloomberg

A farmer with her pigs in Shueng Shui, Hong Kong.

The Environmental Protection Agency isn’t just guarding American land, air and water, it’s looking out for Jakarta’s air.

House Republicans raised the issue at a hearing today where they said the agency spent more than $21 million on projects such as training Polish municipalities on landfill gas, studying swine manure in China, and the “Breathe Easy Jakarta” initiative to improve indoor-air quality in Indonesia’s capital.

“These projects may be perfectly fine, but when we have this kind of debt, we need to curtail them,” Representative Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, the Republican chairman of the subcommittee on Energy and Power of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said at the hearing. Whitfield pushed legislation at the meeting to prohibit the international grants.

The EPA said that its spending on projects outside the U.S. accounted for less than 1 percent of the agency’s grant budget in the past four years, and that these types of programs date back to 1972.

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