After Billions in Energy Spending, Where Are the Jobs?
While President Obama travels the nation touting the success of his green energy jobs programs, new evidence from the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee suggests that not only has the “stimulus” failed to fulfill its stated goal, but that job creation was never more than an afterthought. Despite chronically high unemployment, over $11 billion has been spent thus far on the Section 1603 renewable energy subsidy program. Testimony from key administration officials and agencies shows that in reality, not only have very few jobs actually been created, but job creation was never the program’s priority:
Treasury: In administering the Section 1603 program, the Treasury stated that, “job creation is not one of the statutory requirements for eligibility and thus it is not a factor in the consideration process.”
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu: “Section 1603 has created tens of thousands of jobs.” But an internal DOE study done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that when you don’t include temporary construction and installation jobs, Section 1603’s $8 billion in grants to wind or solar projects only added 910 long-term jobs. That’s over 8.5 million dollars per job!
Treasury: “Because the 1603 program’s primary focus is on domestic renewable energy production, Treasury also does not report on the number of jobs created by the program.”
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: 61 percent of the wind power funded by Section 1603’s grants would have been deployed even without the program’s existence.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Estimates of temporary construction jobs created in the green energy sector of the economy don’t even attempt to ascertain how many have been destroyed or misallocated from the impacts of the government’s intrusion into the marketplace.
- Department of Energy: Some of the largest beneficiaries of Section 1603 have been foreign utilities like Spain’s Iberdrola, which has collected over a billion dollars in U.S. grant aid.
The takeaway for the taxpayer is simple. Despite Obama’s endless barrage of green energy jobs claims at campaign stops across the nation, the actual programs he created do not even pay job creation a passing glance. As we pass the fortieth straight month of unemployment remaining above 8 percent, Americans are still left wondering: where are the jobs?