Senator Tom Coburn is out with his annual “Wastebook,” in which he questions how federal dollars are spent.
Among the 100 projects listed is improvements to the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia. Pepsico Inc. is teaming with a German company to make Greek yogurt at the facility. Coburn calls it “corporate welfare for the world’s largest snack food maker,” as Pepsico had net revenues of $66 billion last year.
The feds chipped in $1.3 million in infrastructure upgrades at the park, including a new access road and water supply system.
Coburn points out Pepsico Inc. could have paid for the work itself:
Considering the company’s billions of dollars in annual profits and the plentiful demand for the Greek yogurt nationally, Pepsico clearly does not need handouts from the government to subsidize its private business.
Also in the Wastebook:
1. Professional sports loophole, which allows the NFL, NHL and PGA to classify themselves as nonprofit organizations.
2. A federally-subsidized airport in Oklahoma that only gets one flight a month.
3. Moroccan pottery classes to stimulate the Moroccan economy. The classes were a bust, partly because the Moroccan people have been making pottery for a couple thousand years.
4. Food to be served on Mars. Yes, NASA is testing it out.
5. Robotic Squirrel. California colleges built a robotic squirrel to see how snakes react.
A previous Wastebook listed Rochester’s El Camino housing project.