Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter. Photo by Reuters
This is unbelievable… but, unfortunately, not surprising.
It’s very common for government projects to go over budget. Unforeseen costs arise, and demands change.
However, the Obama administration went 8,000 percent over budget on one building in Afghanistan, and you will never believe what it is.
A gas station.
Fox News reported that the U.S. government (the same government that never has enough money to pave roads or fix bridges) managed to build a $500,000 gas station in Afghanistan for $43 million.
The crisis started when in 2006 a U.S. Geological Survey found that northern Afghanistan had abundant natural gas supplies. The government, through the Task Force for Stability and Business Operations, decided to build a gas station to make compressed natural gas available to the general public in Afghanistan.
Sounds good so far — except the people in Afghanistan who own vehicles don’t have ones with engines powered by natural gas.
It went downhill from there.
Initially, the contract was for under $3 million for a gas station that cost $500,000 to build in Pakistan. However, $3 million turned out to just not be enough money for one gas station.
“The Task Force spent $42,718,739 between 2011 and 2014 to ‘fund the construction and to supervise the initial operation of the CNG station’ … with approximately $12.3 million in direct costs and $30 million in overhead costs,’” reported Fox News.
That’s almost $43 million total. There has been intense outcry over the incredible waste of taxpayer dollars — and during an administration that just vetoed a military spending bill because it wouldn’t help President Barack Obama close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay.
“There’s few things in this job that literally make my jaw drop,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. “But of all the examples of wasteful projects in Iraq and Afghanistan that the Pentagon began prior to our wartime contracting reforms, this genuinely shocked me.”
“It’s hard to imagine a more outrageous waste of money than building an alternative fuel station in a war-torn country that costs more than 8,000 percent more than it should,” he stated.