Congressman from Koch Attacks $30,000 EPA Intern Program

Friday, September 23, 2011
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Koch)
No program is too small for House Republicans to go after, especially ones encouraging young people to learn about environmental protection.
Representative Mike Pompeo, who represents the Kansas district that is the headquarters for the GOP-friendly—and anti-regulatory—Koch Industries, has criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s internship program for only including students who, he says, share President Barack Obama’s “radical” views on the environment.
Pompeo said “spending $6,000 of taxpayer money per student to act as tools of this Administration’s radical policies is clearly not acceptable—nor is it ever the role of the federal government to indoctrinate.”
The Environmental Justice Eco-Ambassadors program, budgeted to spend $30,000 so five graduate students can spend time working at the EPA, requires applicants to have “been involved and/or have a strong interest in environmental justice, social justice issues and/or environmental health disparities in an academic, volunteer and/or employment setting.”
Al Huang, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, told iWatch News that Pompeo is dead wrong. “To characterize the administration as extreme and radical is just not based on the reality of what the administration’s actually done.”
Pompeo has sponsored legislation prohibiting the EPA from requiring intern applicants to “possess any experience that constitutes an endorsement of a particular position with regard to environmental protection.” His bill is being cosponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Rep John Carter (R-Texas), Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Mississippi) and Rep. David McKinley (R-West Virginia).
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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