The Perils of Unregulated Federal Spending - Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO)
Danielle Brian is the Executive Director of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and is considered one of the most authoritative people who watchdogs the spending of the federal government. In fact, yesterday (April 27) she was named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the most influential people in good government. Dina Rasor founded POGO and Danielle Brian took over the executive director position from Dina Rasor in 1993. She worked at POGO with Dina in the 1980s and with Greg Williams, the Chief Operating Officer of Climate Money Project. We are delighted that she did this podcast and passed on her valuable knowledge so that the climate community can benefit from her experience in not only passing appropriations but also how to put in safeguards and oversight so that the money is spent well with as little of fraud and waste as possible.
In this episode, we will talk about Danielle’s knowledge and concerns of what can happen when the federal government spends a large amount of money, like the recent climate appropriations, without the bureaucracy now being ready to process and oversee the spending, the pros and cons of the federal Inspectors General ability to audit and investigate large amounts of new money, how the Congress and the Executive Branch can out in safeguards for spending transparency and prevent unnecessary fraud and waste, and the important role of whistleblowers and anonymous sources in this process.
We would love your feedback and suggestions on our podcast episodes as well as suggestions of anyone you think would help the climate community better understand how the climate money should be spent and overseen. We will be bringing you a myriad of experts, scientists, attorneys, local, state and federal officials, and advocates to help all of us prepare to make climate money work well.
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Bill McKibben is a founder of Third Act, which organizes people over the age of 60 to work on climate and racial justice. He founded the first global grassroots climate campaign, 350.org, and serves as the Schumann Distinguished Professor in Residence at Middlebury College in Vermont. In 2014 he was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel,’ in the Swedish Parliament. He’s also won the Gandhi Peace Award, and honorary degrees from 19 colleges and universities. He has written over a dozen books about the environment, including his first, The End of Nature, published in 1989, and the forthcoming The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at his Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What the Hell Happened.
In this podcast, we reflect on the recent launch of Third Act, and the need to pursue climate change mitigation and environmental remediation with "equanimity".
Support the show
Tomorrow (April 21), we will be launching the first episode of our podcast featuring the inestimable Bill McKibben, a top leader in the climate field. Next week on Thursday, we will have Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the organization that I founded and serve on their board. Danielle is one of the best experts on spending and oversight of federal money. Greg Williams and I have also recorded an episode to explain the goals of Climate Money Watchdog and why we believe that our mission is so vital.
The Climate Money Watchdog podcast will feature people who know about the successes and pitfalls of government spending in many fields and others who know the various and complicated issues surrounding the climate emergency and know what can go wrong with either the technical, practical, or political in the climate debate. You can get the podcast from the Climate Money Watchdog website blog or the link to our podcast page on the website. We will be listed in most of the usual podcast distributors.
More about us: we are a non-profit, non-partisan organization. The goal of CMW is to follow and watch government spending on climate issues to ensure that the precious spending on climate actually goes to solutions to the pending climate meltdown. We are doing investigations into various topics and problems, launching this podcast on pitfalls of climate spending that could lead to waste, fraud and abuse, and will become a place where sources and whistleblowers can come to seek public or anonymous help in exposing problems. We are also solutions oriented and will work to inform the public and the government where there are problems and potential solutions. Check out our goals and our new introduction video on this website.
Getting the necessary climate appropriations passed is an issue that many groups have been working on for decades. However, given the urgency and importance of this issue, there is little room for fraud and waste which can be used by climate skeptics to kill off the necessary funding to get the job done. (Remember Solyndra?)
If you like what you hear and read, I would like to ask you to help us in getting the word out. We have a Twitter page @WatchdogClimate and a Facebook page under my name, Dina Rasor, with a CMW logo. I would really appreciate it if you could go to the pages to follow and befriend us and retweet it and send it to friends to get the word out about our work and podcast. And if you know of anyone who would be interested in supporting us financially, please have them contact our Director of Operations, Greg Williams, email@example.com. If you or anyone else would like to make a donation of any size, we have a donate page on our website and an introductory video on our efforts. All contributions are tax deductible. Many people who know me realize that asking for money has always been a stumbling block, but I will set that aside for this important work.
That’s it! Thanks for reading this and please check out our podcast. I would love to hear from all of you for reactions and suggestions on this new endeavor.
Climate Money Watchdog
Through generous donor support, and by driving hard bargains with our vendors, we have put in place insurance and everything else we need to officially launch in April of 2022. Keep an eye on our web site for an episode schedule soon and look forward to downloading our podcasts from fifteen of the most popular podcast platforms, including Apple, Amazon and Google. Visit our Podcast Directory Listings page for a full list.
Whether you've donated before, or are new to Climate Money Watchdog, and you value our pressing work and investigations in our podcasts and web site; we hope you will contribute. We plan to release episodes on a weekly basis and will post a schedule soon.
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