U.S. House of Representatives passes ban on Federal funding of efficient toilets
Alliance for Water Efficiency calls move "stunning"
July 15, 2014
From the Alliance for Water Efficiency News: In a stunning move on July 10, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment on a voice vote to the 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations Act (H.R. 4923), which would prohibit any federal spending for efficient toilets. House Amendment #1046 was sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona (see his statement below). The bill then passed the House and is now on its way to the U.S. Senate.
The impacts of this amendment will be far reaching. It will prevent the use of any federal funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or even the U.S. Department of Energy to finance toilet retrofit programs that clearly save both water and energy.
The Alliance for Water Efficiency is moving to ensure that the U.S. Senate has the information it needs to correctly assess the value of these important investments to an increasingly water short country. Organizations wishing to sign on to the opposition letter (at right), are asked to contact Jeffrey Hughes.
Rep. Gosar Passes Amendment to End “Cash for Crappers”
U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. released the following statement after the House passed his amendment to prohibit millions of dollars from being spent on high-efficiency toilet exchanges. The amendment passed by unanimous consent and was attached to the fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations Act:
“With an out of control debt and no end in sight, it is beyond crazy to have the federal government continuing to subsidize unnecessary and wasteful projects. My commonsense amendment saves taxpayer money and gets the federal government out of the business of subsidizing expensive toilet exchanges that yield highly questionable returns.
“If toilet exchange programs were as efficient as the EPA and Bureau of Reclamation claim, then such products would save so much money and water over time that they would sell themselves in the private market and wouldn’t need taxpayer subsidies. It’s time for the federal government to stop flushing taxpayer dollars down the toilet.”
Rep. Gosar’s amendment was supported by several spending watchdog groups including the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Eagle Forum, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, and Generation Opportunity.
According to the House Committee on Natural Resources, the Bureau of Reclamation’s own data shows that the agency has awarded a number of questionable grants for these projects since 2005 totaling almost $2 million.
The federal expenditures spent on “toilet exchange programs” include a $200,000 grant to San Francisco in 2007 and more than $300,000 for Texas and California during 2011.
For 2014, the agency has already issued funds to subsidize a nearly-million-dollar project for indoor water-efficient fixtures and toilet upgrades in California.