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US Department of Energy has as Many Vehicles as Staff

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 20, 2012

The Congressional Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing this week on some of the spending practices of the US Department of Energy.  The video below shows a remarkable interchange between Committee member Joe Barton of Texas and the DOE’s Inspector General Greg Friedman.  The information included in the video is yet another example of the waste and inefficiency of government.  At the same time, it could compete with the comedy of a Laurel and Hardy movie.

The US Department of Energy has about 15,000 employees.  Congressman Barton asked DOE’s Friedman about the total number of vehicles the department owned.  Realizing the answer would show outrageous waste by the DOE, Friedman sparred with Barton claiming ignorance of the number.  Finally, he admitted that the Department owns about 15,000 vehicles, approximately one for each of its employees.

On top of the remarkable admission by Friedman about the DOE’s huge fleet of vehicles, he also admitted that the Department spent hundreds of millions yearly on travel and called a $60 million portion of this budget “paltry”.  Yikes!

The whole premise behind the US Department of Energy is an outrage.  This department was created during the Carter Administration for the expressed purpose of lessening America’s dependence on imported oil at a time when we imported approximately 30% of our oil.  Today that number is over 60%.  As is often said, with friends like this who needs enemies?

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