by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent over $15 million on outside public relations consultants despite employing nearly 200 full-time in house PR workers.
A new report on EPA spending released by Open the Books, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transparency, found numerous examples of questionable expenditures within the agency.
Among them, the 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.”