While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) struggles to explain its second toxic spill in Colorado, some may wonder- who exactly is in charge of managing the EPA’s reputation?
Turns out, the EPA’s public relations team consists of more people than you probably ever imagined.
[T]he EPA spent over $15.1 million on outside public relations consultants between 2000 and 2014. The funding was on top of the $141.496 million in salaries and $1.5 million in bonuses on full-time public affairs officers the EPA has spent since 2007. As of 2012, the EPA employed 198 public affairs employees. The average EPA employee salary is $111,165.
“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,” said Adam Andrzejewski, the founder of Open the Books.
“The EPA wasting $160 million on public relations dwarfs our recent exposure of their high-end furniture purchases ($92 million),” he said. “Nothing is emblematic of government excess like an army of highly compensated PR agents sitting in their easy chairs. It’s simply waste.”
It gets even worse. The EPA also spent tens of thousands of dollars on “trophies and awards” for their own ceremonies. Not only does the EPA spend our tax dollars to lobby for itself, it apparently spends our tax dollars to celebrate itself too.
This is what happens when the Executive Branch gives seemingly limitless power and resources to an independent agency with un-elected leadership. The EPA will never hold itself accountable for its own mistakes, because it’s too busy pointing the finger at private businesses, then throwing a party for themselves afterwards.