Cross-posted from Climate Progress.
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann calls the Environmental Protection Agency the “job-killing organization of America” and has threatened to have the agency’s “doors locked and lights turned off.” But before her strong anti-EPA rhetoric aimed at firing up the Tea Party during election season, Bachmann solicited the help of the agency to bring “long-term benefits to the environment and the economy.”
The Huffington Post is reporting that Bachmann asked for direct assistance from the government 16 times — many through the stimulus package, a program that she said made President Obama a “gangster.” On numerous occasions, she urged the EPA to fund projects in her community to realize economic benefits:
In February 2007, well before Obama was in office, Bachmann co-signed a letter to the EPA urging its officials to help fund technical assistance programs and rural water initiatives “in small communities across Minnesota.” The authors of the letter, which included nearly the entire Minnesota congressional delegation at the time, noted that FY 2006 funding for the National Rural Water Association had been set at $11 million.
“We need to continue these efforts in 2007,” they wrote.
In other communications with the EPA, Bachmann was far colder to agency policy, criticizing spring 2009 federal management standards for coal combustion byproducts and 2008 National Ambient Air Quality standards. But in other instances, Bachmann turned to the EPA for constituent-related problems. In a Feb. 2, 2010, letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, she asked the agency to support a $270,806 grant application (filed with the EPA’s Clean Diesel Grant Program) that would help a St. Cloud bus company replace two older motor coach vehicles.
“Voigt’s Bus Service, with Community Transportation, Incorporated, is committed to bringing long-term benefits to the environment and the economy and they wish to accomplish this through the Clean Diesel Grant Program,” she wrote.
Even while railing against government intervention, Bachmann sought funds from the Department of Transportation (DOT) — asking for money to replace half a dozen transit buses with new models that run on compressed natural gas, rather than letting the private sector handle it on its own. She also requested funds from the DOT through the stimulus package for six different transportation-infrastructure upgrade projects in her home state of Minnesota. The agency did not fund any of those requests.
This is not the first contradiction in Bachmann’s environmental record. She has voted against repealing tax subsides in the oil and gas sectors, but in 2008 opted to raise taxes on renewable energy companies by voting against tax credits extensions for wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biomass companies.
Bachmann has also been a very vocal opponent of climate science, calling it “voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.”