Morgan Griffith\r\nReport from Washington\r\n\r\nWhen will Washington bureaucrats who do wrong be held accountable?\r\nWe all know of the investigation into Lois Lerner, the former director of the Internal Revenue Services\u2019 (IRS) Exempt Organizations Division who was at the center of the IRS targeting scandal where she appeared to have been involved in targeting political groups for ideological reasons, delaying or denying tax-exempt status they would otherwise have been entitled to. This investigation was closed with no charges.\r\nAdditionally, no one has been held accountable for the Solyndra solar corporation whose loans were subordinated illegally in my opinion. This was the process by which private financiers\/investors were placed ahead of the taxpayers for repayment should Solyndra go bankrupt, which it did. This scheme cost the taxpayers $170 million (see my press release of March 8, 2012).\r\nMore recently, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials have not been held accountable for their failures relating to the water crisis in Flint, Mich., that exposed the city\u2019s 95,000 citizens to lead, which is particularly harmful to young children and their developing brains and nervous systems. Accordingly, the nearly 9,000 children below six years old exposed in Flint are at risk of permanent disabilities, behavioral issues, and various diseases.\r\nMiguel Del Toral, a water scientist with the EPA, first confirmed water problems in Flint last spring after Flint resident Lee Anne Walters called the EPA regarding high lead levels in her tap water. Walters also warned officials that one of her children had been diagnosed with lead poisoning. However, after Del Toral noted the lack of corrosion controls and high lead levels in an interim report, he indicated that he was being punished.\r\nIn an email dated July 8, 2015, Del Toral wrote, \u201cIt almost sounds like I\u2019m to be stuck in a corner holding up a potted plant because of Flint. One misstep in 27+ years here and people lose their minds.\u201d\r\nSusan Hedman is the former head of the agency\u2019s Midwest region. She resigned shortly after the crisis in Flint was revealed to the public. Last week, she testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about this situation.\r\nAt the hearing, Hedman refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing by EPA in this situation, though she did say that officials \u201ccould have done more.\u201d Further, in another hearing, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy refused to say whether she would have removed Hedman had she not resigned.\r\nAlso testifying with Hedman was Dr. Marc Edwards, whose work with a group of 25 Virginia Tech researchers was vital in exposing this crisis. As summarized in the Washington Post, Edwards called Heldman\u2019s remarks \u201ccompletely unacceptable and criminal\u201d and said Hedman \u201c\u2026was guilty of \u2018willful blindness,\u2019 was \u2018unremorseful\u2019 and was \u2018completely unrepentant and unable to learn from [her] mistakes.\u2019\u201d\r\n\u201cI guess being a government agency means you never have to say you\u2019re sorry,\u201d he said. Wow.\r\nIn Congress, I have been working to hold agencies accountable when they do something harmful or are way off base. This fight will continue. Administration bureaucrats must be held accountable.\r\nSupporters of the Ivanpah solar plant promised it would provide high-tech clean energy. The Wall Street Journal reports that despite the more than 2,000 birds that died at the facility between March and August of 2015 likely when flying through intense heat surrounding its towers, the \u201c\u2026federally backed, $2.2 billion solar project in the California desert isn\u2019t producing the electricity it is contractually required to deliver to PG&E Corp., which says the solar plant may be forced to shut down if it doesn\u2019t receive a break Thursday from state regulators.\u201d\r\nThe California Public Utilities Commission last week did approve forbearance agreements allowing up to a year for Ivanpah to meet expectations of electric output. Also, an undisclosed sum was paid to the electric utility PG&E so it would not declare its power purchase agreement with the plant owners is in default.\r\nI discussed this plant and its bird issue in a 2014 special report. As I listed then, this plant had killed birds that were federally protected. Not only is it roasting birds, but Ivanpah is failing to produce the electricity it promised.\r\nWhile we are looking for cleaner energy alternatives including clean coal technologies, we ought not abandon energy sources that keep their promises and provide us with electricity until the new energies are no longer all hat and no cattle.\r\nIf you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at (276) 525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at (540) 381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov. Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives.