March 31, 2009
The Honorable Steven Chu
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence, SW
Washington, DC 20585
Dear Secretary Chu:
I am writing to follow up on my letter, dated February 25, 2009, regarding the expenditure of funds contained in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. That letter expressed interest in the details of stimulus spending and, to date, has been ignored.
As of today, the most recent transaction listed for the Department of Energy (DOE) at www.recovery.gov, the website documenting the contracts, grants, and loans by Federal agencies, is February 5, 2009. Yet on March 12 and 26, the DOE announced grants for weatherization, state energy programs, and energy efficiency block grants of over $234 million for Wisconsin alone.
Stimulus funds should be spent prudently, and I am concerned about the lack of oversight. DOE’s intent to rapidly distribute funds increases the possibility of waste and abuse. Congressional oversight is therefore essential and your failure to respond is unacceptable.
I would therefore like to reiterate my request for detailed information regarding the disbursement of the stimulus funds, specifically what steps DOE is taking to ensure the funds are spent effectively and will produce tangible benefits. As mentioned in my previous letter, I would also appreciate a briefing for my staff from Mr. Matt Rogers or one of his team, who are tasked with spending the $40 billion.
Given the haste in which the funds are being spent, I would appreciate a response by Friday, April 17. Please contact Bart Forsyth, Minority Chief Counsel on the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, to arrange the briefings.
F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Ranking Republican Member, House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
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