Sen. Jim Inhofe’s wish list tops $600M

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Modified: May 3, 2010 at 5:55 am •  Published: May 3, 2010
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/> Though congressional Democrats still are seeking home-state projects, House Democrats have sworn off earmark requests for private companies.

Of Inhofe’s requests, about $503 million is targeted for defense contractors — many of them private — or for military-related purposes.

The biggest item is $100 million for the Boeing Co. for missile defense research. Specifically, Inhofe wants the money directed to airborne laser testing, which has been a success story for the Missile Defense Agency this year.

The Missile Defense Agency requested $99 million for the laser research this year in the defense spending bill, but Inhofe, a strong proponent of missile defense research, wants more funds dedicated than that.

An Inhofe aide acknowledged that appropriators weren’t going to approve a $100 million earmark for research that already is funded in the regular budgeting process.

He said it was "more of a statement” that Inhofe was making about the need for the research.

Boeing isn’t the only major contractor for which Inhofe is seeking money. He is requesting $34 million for Pratt & Whitney to upgrade F-16 engines for Oklahoma’s Air National Guard, and nearly $25 million for Northrop Grumman for work on B-2s at Tinker Air Force Base.

Inhofe’s wish list of 50 earmarks in the defense spending bill includes numerous requests worth tens of millions of dollars for smaller defense contractors in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and for universities in the state.

Inhofe and other lawmakers typically get only a fraction of the money they seek from earmarks. A database compiled by Taxpayers for Common Sense showed Oklahoma received about $80 million in earmarks last year.


Earmark requests
Here are samples of the earmark requests made by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, in the various government areas:

Health and Human Services-education

• $2 million for University of Oklahoma toward construction of new research lab for the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center


• $2 million for Jenks Public Schools to install software and thermostats to reduce energy costs


• $1 million for Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City for imaging equipment


• $1 million for Tulsa Public Schools for leadership training

Justice Department

• $1.5 million for Oklahoma Department of Public Safety for communications system


• $150,000 for Rogers County sheriff’s office for patrol car laptop computers

Defense

• $7 million for ICx Nomadics in Stillwater for explosive detector


• $6.5 million for LaBarge in Tulsa for development and testing of Joint Stand-Off Weapon


• $4 million for Veracity Technology Solutions in Tulsa for a system to detect composite defects in aircraft


• $5 million for TGV rockets in Norman for liquid propulsion technology


• $9 million for Orthocare Innovations Foundation to improve amputee patient care


• $12 million for Sciperio in Oklahoma City for Unmanned Aerial Systems

Military construction

• $20.2 million for Vance Air Force Base in Enid to improve pilot training facilities


• $10 million for air traffic control tower at Tinker Air Force Base


• $16 million for a fire station at Altus Air Force Base


• $11.6 million for aircraft parking apron at Fort Sill

Homeland security

• $1 million for Oklahoma City Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism for training law enforcement agencies

Transportation and housing

• $700,000 for Ardmore Development Authority for technology park and industrial airpark


• $1 million for city of Norman for compressed natural gas station


• $1 million for Oklahoma City for Interstate 40 realignment

Financial services

• $500,000 for Seminole State College for business recruitment services

Agriculture

• $575,000 to Oklahoma State University for animal waste management research


• $900,000 to Redlands Community College for building renovation

Energy and water

• $2.3 million to Oklahoma Water Resources Board and Army Corps of Engineers for comprehensive water plan


• $1 million for Woodward Industrial Foundation to expand renewable energy center at Northwestern Oklahoma State University


• $20.5 million to Army Corps of Engineers for McClellan-Kerr Navigation System

Interior

• $1.6 million to city of Chickasha to widen a creek for flood relief


• $1.5 million to city of Wewoka to upgrade wastewater treatment plant

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