The Spectacle Blog

Shovel Ready? ‘Bite Me!’

By on 7.20.11 | 9:50AM

Don Carrington, my friend and former co-worker at Carolina Journal (published by the John Locke Foundation), has uncovered another round of pooper-scooper (formerly known as "shovel-ready") spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This time a flock of fishing boats, which may or may not have needed the upgrade, received "Half Off! Act Now" diesel engine replacements from taxpayers:

"Bite Me," a charter fishing boat ($1,500 plus tip for a full-day's outing) based at the Hatteras Harbor Marina in Dare County (on the Outer Banks), was one of 14 fishing boats on the North Carolina coast to receive thousands of dollars to replace their diesel engines under President Obama's stimulus program.

The purpose of the funds, administered by the state's Marine Diesel Equipment Repower program, was to improve air quality by reducing diesel emissions, though the boats operate in an area of the state not known for air-quality problems....

"Bite Me" owner Jay Kavanagh received $65,886 in public funds for a new diesel motor for the 51-foot charter boat.... Kavanagh's award amounted to one-half the cost of purchasing and installing a new Caterpillar 2009 model year motor. The new motor ran cleaner than the 2000 version that had powered his boat.

Carrington notes that air quality is such a non-concern for the area, that the state Division of Air Quality doesn't have air pollution monitors in any of the counties where the boats are based.

Nevertheless, undoubtedly there were several "Green" jobs created somewhere in the stimulus accounting process. Why the president and vice president haven't shown up for a photo op next to "Bite Me" has yet to be answered.

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