I suspect I will have more suggestions for budget cuts in the near future, but I thought I would start with this one. I don’t like all of sequestration, but I do like the idea that the rate of growth (this really isn’t about cutting spending–Washington doesn’t know how to do that) of the federal government can be cut.
This is an old article–it’s from November 2012. It was posted at Watchdog.org. The link here is the home page of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory – NREL. The wonderful, dedicated people who work at NREL describe it as the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. So far so good. So what is the problem?
The article at Watchdog reports:
NREL’s top executive, Dr. Dan Arvizu, makes close to a million dollars per year. His two top lieutenants rake in more than half a million each and nine others make more than $350,000 a year.
But what is really going on there? Energy expert Amy Oliver Cooke drove out to the site, which looks something like Nevada’s Area 51 with its remote location and forbidding concrete buildings. NREL had started a construction project and Cooke wanted to see for herself. She didn’t get far: a man in an SUV seemingly appeared out of nowhere, stopped her car, and told her to leave.
“A beefy looking fellow told me, ‘It’s top secret,’ said Cooke, director of the Energy Policy Center at the Independence Institute think tank. “I said, ‘I’m a taxpayer and I want to see what you’re building’ and he said it was it was ‘top secret so we can bring Americans a better future.’”
Why is this top secret and who decided how much to pay these people?
The article further reports:
With its bloated budget and overseen by a $533 million a year government-funded management company, Cooke isn’t buying it.
“NREL has given us two of the most significant boondoggles, one of them being ethanol and the other being (bankrupt) Abound Solar,” she said. “They were part of the team that pushed Abound Solar along. In fact, they wrote in March 2011 on their website how proud they were of their role in abound solar.
I think I have a suggestion as to a place where the federal budget may be cut. Please read the entire article to discover where a large chunk of your tax money is going.