Grassley Presses Defense Secretary on $43 Million Gas Station in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today pressed the Department of Defense to cooperate with a government watchdog by releasing all documents, names of staff involved and reasons for placing severe restrictions on information behind the construction of a $43 million natural gas filling station in Afghanistan.
“This gas station cost many more times than it should have,” Grassley said. “So far, the Defense Department has been unable or unwilling to explain what happened. Incredibly, the Defense Department is distancing itself from its own $800 million task force that oversaw the construction of the gas station, as if it never existed. This is all unacceptable. I’ll continue to press for cooperation from the Defense Department with a key watchdog on behalf of taxpayers.”
Grassley wrote to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, seeking that the Defense Department release all records related to the filling station and a complete list of all former personnel assigned to the task force that oversaw the gas station to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The inspector general has cited a lack of cooperation from the Defense Department in getting to the bottom of the cost over-run. Grassley also sought a plausible explanation for withholding or placing severe restrictions on access to the task force documents.