Politics

Pentagon blows $43 million on natural gas facility in Afghanistan

The Pentagon spent $43 million on a gas station in Afghanistan that should have cost $300,000, according to a new report from a government watchdog.

"One of the most troubling aspects of this project is that the Department of Defense claims that it is unable to provide an explanation for the high cost of the project or to answer any other questions concerning its planning, implementation or outcome," Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter accompanying the special inspector general report released Monday.

The compressed natural gas station, built in Sheberghan, Afghanistan, was originally contracted to cost $3 million, according to the report. The project, known as the Downstream Gas Utilization, was part of the Task Force for Stability and Business Operations and was meant to show Afghanis the commercial viability of natural gas and reduce the country's reliance on energy imports.

However, between 2011-14, the task force spent $42.7 million on the project, and $30 million went toward overhead costs, according to the report.

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