And, in the true political spirit of Washington, this gift from American workers was "bipartisan;" two grants were paid during the Bush administration and four during President Barack Obama's short tenure.
Fine - it was only $1.2 million, and in a budget of trillions, that's like someone with a hundred dollars giving away a penny. But the fact is that money doesn't belong to the EPA or even the federal government, per se. It belongs to the American people, and we doubt the American people, in general, would approve of sending money to a serial rights violator that just happens to be the world's largest communist nation.
Furthermore, in an age when the federal budget is so full of debt it should be published in red ink, why are we giving away free money to anyone? The current cycle of out-of-control federal spending has landed the nation in a river of red as it is - to the tune of $14.3 trillion - but all some lawmakers and the president want to do is go further in debt.
And there is this aspect. U.S. financial growth has been anemic for months, with first-quarter gross domestic product registering a paltry 1.8 percent. China's economy, meanwhile, has been growing as fast as Americans' waistlines - nearly nine times as much. Why is America giving one red cent to China? In fact, China is the number one holder of U.S. debt, but we have an American regulatory agency paying for Chinese research?
"I'm just not sure that the EPA has addressed all the things it's supposed to be doing here in the best manner possible before they're spending money overseas," Robert Gordon, senior advisor for strategic outreach for the Heritage Foundation, who monitors EPA grants, told CNSNews.com. "At the end of the day, we're spending money that we don't have and on things we shouldn't be spending it on if we had it."
The EPA, in an email to the online news service, said the grants were awarded through the EPA's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP), a program aimed at reducing coal-mining methane emissions. The agency also said "U.S. companies are in the forefront of coal mine methane recovery and utilization," and that China has sent delegations to the U.S. to learn about methane emissions.
Here's an idea: Why not just tell the Chinese how to reduce their coal emissions? If they were serious about doing so anyway, would they need to be paid to do so?
In case lawmakers aren't watching the polls, taxpayers - i.e. voters - are
more concerned about the nation's debt and economy than any other issues heading into the 2012 elections. Washington ignores this at its peril.