Your tax dollars at work – EPA offers "golf swing seminar" on EPA work hours and in an EPA facility

I hadn’t planned on blogging today during my own work hours, but I’ll take a few minutes from my lunch to shine some much needed sunlight on this. Maybe I need to shut off my email to get anything done.

From the “why can’t we have fun on the taxpayer’s dime while we are destroying the economy” department. Here’s the content of an email making the rounds internally at the EPA today:

I verified the email sender as being employed within the EPA, both by name and by email headers. That person shall remain anonymous to protect their employment status from repercussions of being a whistleblower.

I verified the phone number in the golf ad as being within the EPA 308 phone group. I also verifed the room number where the golf seminar is being held, room S-4370-80 as being in an EPA facility at:

One Potomac Yard

Conference Center South (4th Floor)

Room S-4370-80

2777 S. Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202

For example, the same conference room was used for this EPA seminar: National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) Subcommittee on Promoting Environmental Stewardship (SPES)

September 8th is a Thursday, a workday, 9AM-3PM are of course work hours in the “normal” non governmental world.

And finally, the Nike Golf Learning Center at Reston National is real too, see here.

What I don’t know is who is paying for this EPA golf seminar. But, now that this has seen sunlight, I’m sure some folks closer to the EPA than me will ask.

Chris Horner of ATI comments on this revelation in context to the whining about proposed budget cuts to the EPA, he writes:

Just as EPA seeks to fill the media with stories about their dire budget situtation and the horrors to befall us all if they have to take a haircut, the poor dears.

Imagine my surprise to receive, within the span of minutes, both the following news story in Energy &Environment Daily — “EPA: Jackson summons top aides for budget pow-wow as GOP sharpens knife: In the face of drastic funding cuts and a hostile political environment, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has told her top deputies to rank which of their programs they deem to be essential and which could fall on the budgetary chopping block” — and the following invitation, just circulated around EPA headquarters.

Just keep this in mind when the results of this “pow-wow” — ritual demagoguery and a lot of talk about children, seniors and the poor — pop in the next few days. Possibly EPA officials are worried that they might have to shelve golf clinics for the bureaucracy run wild.

“Bureaucracy run wild”. Yes, perhaps it’s time to wrangle in the EPA and remind Lisa Jackson and others at the EPA that you are beholden to the citizens of the United States, not the other way around.

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But, it’s all in aid of keeping vital EPA employees healthy and happy! Who could object to such a Noble Cause?

Auto

Why does that look familiar from the other side of the Atlantic.
We, too, have astonishing examples of profligacy – with tax-payers’ money – in the UK.
Awaydays for team-building for civil servants, when our soldiers were having to buy their own boots for Afghanistan – and so on.
Any nation that spends more than 20% of GDP on government and its programs is wasting some of it, I suggest.

Ralph

Hey, Anthony, this is what life is like when you are on any one of the thousands of government teats. Suckle away and … well … the work can always be done tomorrow. Manana, as they say in Spanish.
But you and I, who do the real work in this world, live in a different world.
I really caught myself out the other day, and kicked myself. I said: “I have been really lucky over the last two years, as I have only been sick on my days off.” Ouch!! Now how many on the government teat would say that…?
.

Gary Hladik

Well, the way I see it, the more time they spend goofing off at work, the less damage they can do to the US economy. 🙂

Considering the damage an out of control EPA can do to the economy, I don’t find this so bad. Perhaps they could be all be encouraged to take an extended cruise as a team and moral builing exersize. I know having that entire agency on extended holiday would improve my moral.

Are ya sure we can’t save any money on the EPA’s budget

Juice

Aren’t golf courses really horrible for the environment? Shouldn’t the EPA do something about them?

Cheers!! could not have said it better myself. More people need to start speaking up

Ray

Great subliminal ad… the ball represents your money and the green represents the EPA… any question?

CodeTech

Ah yes… it’s the GOP sharpening the knives…[for cutting the budget]
While that sounds horrifying and reprehensible to some, to me it’s a glorious thought!
There has to be a way to train some of these nut-jobs that think being against the waste and ridiculous micromanagement of the EPA is somehow being for uncontrolled polluting and environmental destruction…

DennisA

You could sure save a hell of a lot on consultants, the sort that used to work for the EPA and now seem to get loads of government work, especially on global warming.
Check this out: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/the_un_states_epa.html

Douglas DC

Forward to your Congresscritters! I have, including Inhofe…..
I don’t waste my time with Oregon’s blue Island reps and
senators…

Dave Wendt

Maybe they’re hoping that, if they polish up their game, they might be invited to join the Big Boss on one of his many rounds.

Tom in Florida

My first thoughts are that the seminar is promotional and therefore is put on for free in hopes of signing up some new customers for their golf instruction course. But even if there is no cost to the taxpayer this should be done after hours and off premise.

DCA

Reminds me of the time I was in DC late last fall on a rather cold. I have a picture of a security guard standing if front of the EPA building holding the door open so he could have a smoke. He held in open for nearly 15 minutes and not one entered or left through the door.

Henry chance

I read today one of the top women in charge of air quality testified in a congressional hearing and didn’t know what the CO2 level was in the air. Don’t sweat the little stuff.
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/epa-air-chief-is-co2-clueless/?singlepage=true

Hoser

Remember, it all starts at the top. Our Fearless Leader, Teacher, and Friend sets the example for the rest of the Executive Branch to follow. You never know when the POTUS will call on you for a meeting on the back 9 to discuss CO2 regulations. You need to be prepared.

DirkH

Green Jobs.

Ulrich Elkmann

No, no, you don’t understand. The grand tourney in Durban will commence soon, and the West has to cut a fine figure to impress delegates from, say, Japan or the Near East, who unfortunately may not be swayed by finagled figures (but golf they understand). This is work, and dangerous work at that (strained backs, etc.). The logical next step will be to bolster those brave guys’ tolerance to cocaine and other dire necessities these circles cannot do without.

Neo

Perhaps they could be all be encouraged to take an extended cruise as a team and moral builing exersize. … and let it sink.

B.Klein

It’s time to stop EPA totally: EPA just forced the city of New York to put a concrete cover over a large reservoir at a cost of $1.6 billion to prevent bird shit from getting in the water. What next? Will they require the Cities on the Great Lakes to put a cover over Lake Erie to prevent bird shit from getting into the lake which is the water supply for twenty or thirty cities on Lake Erie? The EPA is totally insane. Every water treatment system is designed to deal with some contamination,right?

wsbriggs

I’m onboard with the team building exercise. I understand that there are still some tribes in New Guinea that would welcome the participants with open arms. They could partake in some of the tribal rituals, and in return, we might get Bon Appetite some new recipes for long pig. /sark

DAV

Uh, this is a bit over the top. Give it a rest. It’s no different than the social and hobby activities (amateur radio, car repair, softball, soccer, running and more) at other agencies on-site using government facilities such as e-mail, bulletin boards, rooms and grassy areas and at all times of the day. Just because it’s 9am-5pm doesn’t mean the government is paying for the activities. EPA employees get personal time just like everywhere else. Other than the use of room S-whatever, there’s no indication of using government funds and, for all you know, the room was rented.

And just think.
An EPA employee is more likely to die on the job than to be fired.
Since it is such a high-risk employment, you all ought to have a heart.
Those poor EPA people.
Working for Lisa Jackson would make me tense, for sure.
Publishing a steady stream of lies will do that to you.

TRM

Of course they got the science behind it WRONG as well 🙂
Here is a link to the best physics explanation of golf and how to do it I’ve come across:
http://www.kuykendallgolf.com/home/default.cfm
PS No I don’t get a penny from him for promoting the site.

PaulH

Do poor golfers cause global warming?
/justkidding

Mike

Your headline says: “Your tax dollars at work…”. But later you admit: “What I don’t know is who is paying for this EPA golf seminar.” So, will you withdraw the headline until you learn the facts?

Bystander

So no one where you guys work ever takes lunch or flex time?

mikemUK

A last chance to brush up their technique for delegates to the COP17 Durban junket?

Obama’s thankyou.

1DandyTroll

Maybe they’d just wanted to rub off each others stink on each other. EPA, the non-political but federal organization going all authoritarian political and Nike numero uno child labor organization going all green.
What could go wrong with that combination? :p

Leon Brozyna

Coming to the end of the fiscal year.
EPA Potomac Health Unit has a budget, as does every government agency and department. If, at the end of the fiscal year, there’s unspent monies, it’s hard to justify a larger budget for the following year. Which is why there are many spending binges in the last couple months of every fiscal year. Gotta use up that leftover money. It’s not a Democrat thing or a Republican thing … it’s a bureaucrat thing.
Then submit a larger budget request for the following year.
It gives new meaning to the expression, “Use it or lose it.”

Richard M

I could use a little help with my chipping. Will they let me in if I wear a green hat?

The Leaker

Tom in Florida is most likely correct in that is is probably a promotional bit by a fitness company and the Agency is probably not being charged. Of course, the meeting room being used is in government space, and that means that if employees needed the meeting room for something a little more work related they do not have access to the facility any more. Plus, the meeting room is right by where people can get a cup of coffee!
Now the real funny part is that EPA got office space in a building that is located in such a way that it encourages employees to drive instead of use public transportation. Don’t worry, it’s a green building.

JDN

If this is end-of-year money, you can lose your job for not spending it, as Leon Brozyna suggested. It’s a general problem with government & non-government alike. Let’s not get started on corporate perks. I know that EPA is a pain and not the favorite of any organization around here, but, complaining about the lint in the budget drives me nuts. I’m for cutting most of their budget.

Who’s paying for it? Nike, of course; they are selling memberships and/or lessons ti the Reston NGLC, and they do so by allowing people to have their swing analyzed with software. I’ve been through the process; it took all of five minutes. “Swing. Swing. Swing. Look at the monitor. See how your left knee bends? See how your right elbow is too straight? We can fix that for you. Sign here, and one of our reps will call. Thanks!”
And you’ve really got an issue with a few dozen duffers taking a few minutes from their lunch break to do this?
Seriously?

R. de Haan

EPA employees know more about Golf than they know about our climate and CO2.
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/epa-air-chief-is-co2-clueless/?singlepage=true

With 21,300,000 government employees in the U.S. you simply must accept a “little” bit leeway in the actions of this small group. (Not sarcastic enough?)

pat

many, many more dollars involved here:
19 July: US News & World Report: Paul Bedard: New Fears EPA Smog Rule Will Cost 7.3 Million Jobs
Lawmakers today issued a new warning that an aggressive antismog plan being pushed by the Environmental Protection Agency could cost the nation $1 trillion, kill another 7.3 million jobs, or 4.3 percent of the workforce in 2020, and halt major construction of highways and factories in employment starved swaths of the nation.
At issue: The EPA’s plan to go far beyond former President Bush’s effort to tighten ozone standards way in advance of the planned review in 2013,…
Today at the weekly Senate GOP Caucus, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming led the opposition. “People in Wyoming are also concerned about jobs, the economy…
“And even the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce has said this will cost about 330,000 jobs in Pennsylvania. I think that the — that the focus around the country is on jobs and the economy, and this administration ought to take this 9.2 percent unemployment a lot more seriously than they are taking it right now.”…
http://www.usnews.com/mobile/articles_mobile/new-fears-epa-smog-rule-will-cost-73-million-jobs-new-fears-epa-smog-rule-will-cost-73-million-jobs

Frank K.

Yeah…this is no different than, say, blogging on government time, like the good folks at NASA/GISS do.
(Of course, anything which forestalls the production of useless “climate data products” and shrill climate journal paper press releases is, in my opinion, a GOOD thing!).

Jay Davis

Mike,
If these federal employees are playing golf during working hours, and they are getting paid, then tax dollars are being wasted. I hope the Republicans are sharpening their knives and the EPA is a perfect place to start.

DCC

B.Klein said: “It’s time to stop EPA totally: EPA just forced the city of New York to put a concrete cover over a large reservoir at a cost of $1.6 billion to prevent bird shit from getting in the water. ”
I gotta see a reference link for that, If the EPA really did that, we can shut them down.

D Bonson

*Gets golf clubs out of shed*
Anyone have a job vacancy with the EPA?

DCC

DAV said: “Just because it’s 9am-5pm doesn’t mean the government is paying for the activities.”

He didn’t say who was paying for the activities. Neither he nor you know. But during working hours they are getting paid by the taxpayer. Nothing in the invite says otherwise. Apparently, you approve of government workers goofing off during working hours. The taxpaying public does not.

Neapolitan said: “And you’ve really got an issue with a few dozen duffers taking a few minutes from their lunch break to do this?”

Nothing was said about the duration of the clinic and nothing was said about lunch breaks. You cannot make the assumptions that you made. However, we do know that the EPA building where the clinic will be held is not within walking distance of their main building. If you happen to be right, which the distance makes me doubt, then the failure of the management to make that clear means they are dumber than we thought they were. I didn’t think that was possible.

Paddy

Everybody, feel my pain. Whenever a comment is posted suggesting that I contact my Congressional representatives to complain about the latest outrage from the Obama administration, I suffer total frustration. My representatives are Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell’ my congressman is Jay Inslee.

Bob Barker

A substantial cut in EPA appropriations would be a blessing for all. The good they did in the past is being overshadowed by the damage they are doing now. Those people do not know when to stop and they never will voluntarily. Only a cut in funding will do the job.
Meanwhile, improving the employees golf swing may prove useful if EPA has to reduce staff. It may also be legal and proper considering how flex-time can be used.

Mac the Knife

Paddy,
My friend, I truly feel your pain! We share Patty ‘Cakes’ Murray and Maria Catsmell as our senators. UGH! I have a spineless RINO (Dave Reichert) as my federal representative. Regardless of how little regard they may give to my inputs, I make my concerns clear and offer polite, reasoned but firm guidance on many issues to them. I encourage you to do the same… it’s important they hear from more than just their SEIU funding sources!
Maria Cantwell and Dave Reichert are both weak candidates, going into the 2012 elections. They must choose whether to listen to their constituents and support fiscally responsible legislation like ‘Cap, Cut, & Balance’.. or they can get cashiered out in 2012. There is a budding grassroots effort aiming at unseating Maria Cantwell, in particular, with those of us west of the Cascades seeking ways to help our eastern state friends achieve that most desireable outcome!
Let ’em hear from you, Paddy! Clearly and often, right up to the election!

R. Shearer

You expect them to surf the net and watch porn all day?

Frank K.

DCC says:
July 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm
“Nothing was said about the duration of the clinic and nothing was said about lunch breaks. You cannot make the assumptions that you made.”
I was thinking the same thing. Assuming everyone takes the same 12:00 – 1:00 lunch break, how many government workers golfers could they process anyhow? Probably not too many. And why post the hours of 9 AM to 3 PM? Why not stay around after work hours for those who, in fact, wish to work their required hours? Questions, questions…
Oh, and there’s this…
Corporations Favor EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases
Submitted by Paul Chesser on Fri, 12/31/2010
“Earlier this month corporate climateers including Nike and 3M were given awards — supposedly “the equivalent of an Oscar for the climate change mitigation world” — for their efforts to reduce their carbon emissions. The honors were bestowed by the Carbon War Room, which “harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to implement market-driven solutions to climate change.” The Virgin Group’s Richard Branson is one of the nonprofit’s co-founders.”
“The War Room gave Nike the Gigaton Award for the “consumer discretionary” category. The prize was named for a Clinton Global Initiative project called Gigaton Throwdown, which “encourages companies, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and investors to build big solutions to create climate stability and energy security.” Award winners are chosen by the Gigaton Academy, which consists of alarmist luminaries such as Branson, Ted Turner, UN IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri, Nicholas Stern, and a host of rent-seeking alternative energy industry leaders.”

ew-3

We really need to raise our deficit limit to cover important events like this…
/sarc