Green Kills? VA Spent Millions Installing Solar Panels While Veterans Died

VAT2 Photo 5s
The Veterans Administration spent $78 million retrofitting hospitals in about 20 cities with solar panels.

An editorial in yesterday’s edition of The Washington Times blasts the Veterans Administration for focusing so much of its time on installing new solar panels while denying care to veterans.

Nearly two-dozen VA facilities have dedicated resources to outfitting their buildings with solar power, but the Phoenix VA Health Care System was especially guilty. That hospital spent $20 million on the energy project even while 20 American heroes died at the facility due to incompetence. The VA even posted an extensive list of “Green Management Programs” on its website.

The installation of solar panels appears to be part of the Obama Administration’s green initiative. According to the White House’s website, the VA was awarded $78 million in 2010 in order to retrofit their facilities with “green energy.”

“This initiative is good for Veterans…” said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Shinseki resigned from his post on May 30 due to the recent scandal that cost many brave Americans their lives.

The Washington Times has more:

The department early on set up an Office of Green Management Programs designed to “help VA facilities nationwide recognize opportunities to green VA, and to reward innovative ‘green’ practices and efforts by individual facilities and staff within the VA.” This sometimes means paying more attention to greening the department and saving the polar ice caps than to health care.

In the department’s words, it adopted a far more important mission to “become more energy efficient and sustainable, focusing primarily on renewable energy, energy and water efficiency, [carbon-dioxide] emissions reduction, and sustainable buildings.”

The green office isn’t merely a desk and telephone tucked away in the dark corner of a nondescript government building. It’s a substantial undertaking, with all the luxury, bells and whistles of a bureaucracy that means business. Eric K. Shinseki, who resigned as secretary in the wake of the VA scandal of the sin of omission, traveled the country to boast of the green initiative. In one instance, he traveled to Massachusetts to flick the switch at a half-million-dollar windmill project at the Massachusetts National Cemetery. “Nationally,” he said, “VA continues to expand its investment in renewable sources of energy to promote our nation’s energy independence, save taxpayer dollars, and improve care for our veterans and their families.

VA facilities have become littered with every scheme to banish carbon dioxide short of requiring visitors to hold their breath. Calverton National Cemetery spent $742,034 on solar panels. Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery spent $787,308. Not to be out-greened, the Riverside National Cemetery spent $1.3 million on its solar system.

At the Phoenix VA Health Care System, where 20 Americans died from incompetence and cover-up, the department spent $20 million putting solar panels on the hospital roofs. That would have been more than enough money to provide the veterans with the health care they deserved.

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