For years, activists, scientists and politicians have fought to get enough federal funding to make a start to slow climate change and stop the incessant temperature climb of the planet. Although the job of getting money is far from done, the first large tranche of appropriated money from the infrastructure law is starting to be spent. This important money will only be effective if it is spent well and scandals and waste could affect the success of climate goals and deter future and follow-on appropriations. To do this correctly, there has to be strong and workable oversight structure either built into the legislation or established by the Executive Branch.
For this week's podcast episode, we are lucky to have Scott Amey from the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). He is one of the best people in Washington DC on how to build effective oversight into government and what has worked or not worked over his decades of experience. Every climate activist and the politicians who support climate change legislation should listen to Scott so that the federal government can be pushed to do it s job and make sure the money is well spent on realistic and effective projects. The whole system that is spending this money, clear down to state and local governments, has to be pushed from the inside and outside the federal government to make it work the first time. Scott has seen it all and he talks frankly about his concerns of what can happen when well intended money is spent badly. (full disclosure: Dina Rasor is the founder and was the first director of POGO and serves on its board of directors and Greg Williams worked as an investigator at POGO)
Scott Amey is POGO’s general counsel and executive editorial director. In addition to organizational legal demands, he oversees the investigations, research and policy teams, the Center for Defense Information (CDI), and The Constitution Project (TCP). Scott also participates in contract oversight investigations, including reviews of federal spending on products and services, the responsibility of federal contractors, and conflicts-of-interest and ethics concerns. Scott is an attorney and can practice law in Maryland.
In October of 2021, Scott was asked to testify before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight and Subcommittee on Energy on best practices for federal spending. This podcast provides reflection on that testimony, and his decades of experience.
Scott's October 21, 2021 before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology