October report shows a task force spent $43 million building a compressed natural gas filling station in Afghanistan
"In comparison, SIGAR found that a CNG filling station in Pakistan costs no more than $500,000 to construct," the report said
In a new report, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko said that a now-defunct task force spent nearly $43 million building a compressed natural gas filling station in Afghanistan.
The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, which was created by the Department of Defense and directed towards reviving Afghanistan’s economy in 2009, was disbanded in March.
“Although TFBSO achieved its immediate objective of building the CNG filling station, it apparently did so at an exorbitant cost to U.S. taxpayers,” Sopko wrote to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in a report out in the final days of last month. “In comparison, SIGAR found that a CNG filling station in Pakistan costs no more than $500,000 to construct.”
The report stated that the Afghanistan filling station cost 140 times as much as a CNG station in Pakistan.
Most concerning to Sopko was that overhead costs alone for the project reached $30 million.
“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,” Sopko’s report stated.
According to the report, compressed natural gas is 50% cheaper and burns cleaner than regular Afghanistan gas.