[guest post by Dana]
Even as veterans died waiting for appointment times at the VA in Phoenix, millions of dollars that could have saved lives was instead being poured into Green Energy at the facility.
[E]each and every year, from 2009 to 2011, the Phoenix VA Health Care System put in solar panels. The solar panels at the Carl T. Hayden VA in Phoenix cost $20 million.
Disgustingly, this was an official mandate:
In 2009, Obama had signed a Green Energy executive order. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced that “in order to continue providing Veterans with the best health care and benefit services, VA must adapt to climate change.”
South Texas also had Green Energy as their priority:
At some South Texas facilities vets had to wait 85 days for a primary care appointment and 55 days for a mental health appointment with “a worst-in-the-nation, 145-day average wait for new patients seeking specialist care.”
Meanwhile the South Texas Veterans Health Care System installed a 1.7 MW solar PV system.
The Amarillo VA Health Care System had the third longest wait times for mental health appointments in the country. Its Thomas E. Creek office complained of a lack of resources. Meanwhile $10 million was spent on solar panels for a facility that sees 25,000 patients a year.
Hawaii (with the longest wait list) spent between $1 and $2 million dollars on Green Energy projects as veterans died because of obscene wait times. While there was no time to see veterans at these facilities, there was always time to make sure the mandate of Green Energy was met.
But it wasn’t just the VA hospitals that were recipients of the Green Energy treatment and dollars.
The Massachusetts National Cemetery got a 50 kW wind turbine so the dead veterans would have all the sustainable energy they needed.
A VA press release about the cemetery turbine boasted that “under the leadership of Secretary Eric K. Shinseki… VA is transitioning into a 21st century organization that better serves America’s Veterans.”
Shinseki arrived in person at the dedication ceremony to flip the switch on the cemetery wind turbine. Resting in their graves were men who had died because of his policies.
“Nationally, 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,” he said.
Disgraceful. It is reprehensible that the VA’s priority was to invest huge sums of money into renewable energy rather than renewing the energy of dying veterans to ensure that they might live another day.
In Shinseki’s words:
We are investing in clean energy and renewable energy projects at our national cemeteries to reduce our environmental footprint.
The transition toward these renewable energy sources helps VA continue to be a leading example of going green in the federal government.
This was their priority: reduce our environmental footprint by reducing the living footprint of veterans by their deaths. Necessary sacrifices.