Picking up where former Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., left off, a New Hampshire congressman Monday gave the Energy Department the first "Golden Wastebasket" award for wasting taxpayer dollars.
Using a trash can spray-painted in gold as a prop, Rep. Chuck Douglas, R-N.H., chided the department for spending $1.4 million when it sent the entire environmental impact study on the superconducting supercollider - 22 books totaling 8,800 pages and weighing 25 pounds - to 16,000 citizens who might have been affected by the proposed facility.The National Environmental Policy Act requires that interested or affected citizens have access to environmental impact studies, but Douglas said the public should have just received an overall summary.
"Send them that and suggest that if you want a complete set, you must specifically request that. But to take $1.4 million and mail this thing out to thousands of people is absolutely unjustified," he said. "These people didn't ask for this box of books; they didn't read this box of books."
Douglas said most of the complaints about receiving the boxes came from the Chicago area. Illinois was one of seven contenders for the supercollider but Texas was finally chosen as the site.
Lifting the gold wastebasket, Douglas said, "Our tax dollars are going into that wastebasket in such an absurd, ridiculous way."