EPA now requires political aide’s sign-off for agency awards, grant applications

By Juliet Eilperin

The Environmental Protection Agency has taken the unusual step of putting a political operative in charge of vetting the hundreds of millions of dollars in grants the EPA distributes annually, assigning final funding decisions to a former Trump campaign aide with little environmental policy experience.

In this role, John Konkus reviews every award the agency gives out, along with every grant solicitation before it is issued. According to both career and political employees, Konkus has told staff that he is on the lookout for “the double C-word” — climate change — and repeatedly has instructed grant officers to eliminate references to the subject in solicitations.

Konkus, who officially works in the EPA’s public affairs office, has canceled close to $2 million competitively awarded to universities and nonprofit organizations. Although his review has primarily affected Obama administration priorities, it is the heavily Republican state of Alaska that has undergone the most scrutiny so far.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. @OP- In this role, John Konkus reviews every award the agency gives out, along with every grant solicitation before it is issued.
    According to both career and political employees,
    Konkus has told staff that he is on the lookout
    for “the double C-word” — climate change

    and repeatedly has instructed grant officers to eliminate references to the subject in solicitations.

    Konkus, who officially works in the EPA’s public affairs office,
    has canceled close to $2 million competitively awarded to universities and nonprofit organizations.

    No! No! No!
    For Trump appointees, “the double C-word” is CLUELESS CLOWN!
    It is an essential qualification for Trump appointments!

  2. @OP- Although his review has primarily affected Obama administration priorities,
    it is the heavily Republican state of Alaska
    that has undergone the most scrutiny so far.

    Given that the temperature rises and rapid thawing of ice are greatest in the Arctic, and are having large effects on local Arctic populations, the desperate need for denialist suppression of evidence is at a maximum in the US state of Alaska!
    Those scientists must be prevented from measuring the evidence and exposing Trumpies as scientifically illiterate fools who are babbling their made-up “alternative facts”, if deceiver-dummies are to keep their jobs and keep their electors conned!!

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