A new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says Green Bonds — issued to clean up areas damaged by Superstorm Sandy — were for the most part a political ploy by the Obama administration to help politically important coastal New Jersey and New York.
The report found that just eight states issued Green Bonds since the New York-New Jersey Clean Up Bonds Act was signed into law in June 2012, with only two of those bonds ever redeemed. The remaining six states either chose not to issue or disbursed their bonds before the start of the next fiscal year.
“By establishing a budget surplus and then issuing a gigantic debt for tsunami clean-up work, the governor and local officials violated a fundamental principle that underlies Treasury bonds: the conditionality of promises,” according to the report.
The report also has problems with the existing National Flood Insurance Program and the availability of low-interest loans under the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program.
CREDO Action, a liberal advocacy group that helped organize the press conference held by CREW, says the bond idea was specifically pushed by the White House and the Obama campaign.
Both groups said last week that the administration is doing a good job of helping flood victims.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint earlier this month with the Office of Special Counsel urging an investigation into the use of flood-related funding to help the Democratic Party recover from the 2012 elections.
“The reason was political, not necessarily because it was in the public interest,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW.
McIntyre said the Obama administration has been criticized for not being quick enough in helping the storm victims and CREDO is calling on the Obama administration to ensure that its policies as the next president are also quick and helpful to disaster victims.
“Even the Obama administration admitted it took too long to get it done,” she said.