By Jim Kouri
As President Barack Obama’s disastrous and costly green energy agenda became the focus of a congressional investigation, the administration celebrated the multimillion-dollar “green makeover” of a public housing facility in Washington State.
The festivities came on the heels of a major scandal involving a California solar panel company that folded after receiving more than half a billion dollars from the government.
The White House helped the bankrupt manufacturer (Solyndra) get the money over the objections of federal budget analysts and news reports have identified one of the company’s major investors as an Obama fundraiser.
The Solyndra scandal has ignited fury among congressional leaders who are chastising the commander-in-chief for responding to an economic recession with a failed “green energy subsidy experiment.” In fact, this week a House committee released a special report blasting the president for wasting nearly $100 billion to create “green jobs.” Undue political influence has determined how much of the money has been disbursed, investigators found
Taking office amidst the worst recession since the Great Depression, President Barack Obama confronted an unemployment crisis by focusing on the promotion of “green jobs.” His goal was to put people to work in ways that improve the environment.
As the President asserted in his inaugural address, “we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He continued, “We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” This strategy built on his campaign’s championing of green jobs as a means to achieve economic recovery, promising that America would create five million green jobs within ten years.
Sadly for America, nearly three years and billions of taxpayer dollars later, Americans have received very scant return from President Obama’s investment. Recent media coverage resoundingly declared the “green jobs” experiment has been a costly failure, according to Congressman Darryl Issa (R-CA), a conservative lawmaker now chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee.
He cited the efforts of other nations as the rationale to try and subsidize our way to energy independence. Yet, the other nations who tried this experiment have struggled and after nearly three years and billions of spent taxpayer dollars later, the American people have received very little return on President Obama’s signature investment.
The theory behind a “green jobs” fueled recovery is also called into question by numerous sources documenting instances of inappropriate political influence affecting the distribution of government grants. Moreover, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ efforts to legitimize the notion of “green jobs” by counting these jobs as a unique job category, would create official metrics for the nascent effort.
The Obama Administration’s green energy campaign has been pursued while it simultaneously implemented a regulatory agenda that is choking American businesses and restricting access to abundant domestic natural resources which have traditionally provided cheap energy that supports economic growth.
With unemployment at 8.5 percent, the ill-fated “green jobs” experiment has done little to create jobs or speed recovery; in fact, by many accounts it has destroyed jobs. This is a dangerous strategy that will drastically increase the price consumers pay for energy, hurt economic growth, and restrict job creation.
By sacrificing domestic carbon-based resources upon the altar of an ill-fated “green energy” experiment, the President has put U.S. economic security in jeopardy and wasted billions in taxpayer money at a time when our fiscal health is in peril.
- Three years and nearly a hundred billion dollars later, taxpayers have received little return from President Obama’s investments in “green jobs;”
- Labeling an occupation as a green job does not mean it has any special economic worth;
- The guise of “green jobs” has become a political rallying cry aimed to unite environmentalists and union leaders in a deliberate effort to consolidate an ideologically-based agenda;
- Labor unions are profiting from the many so-called “green” programs because there are often “strings attached” that require hiring union workers, the payment of union-level wages and other mandates;
- Evidence suggests that the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has been subjected to undue political influence to advance this agenda and is now using gimmick-accounting methods to count “green jobs” even though the term is vague, poorly defined, and has led to inaccurate counting;
- The metric of a “green job” is nothing more than a propaganda tool designed to provide legitimacy to a pre-determined outcome that benefits a political ideology rather than the economy or the environment;
- The Obama Administration’s “green jobs” agenda has been driven by political favoritism and accusations of pay-to-play relationships benefiting private investors with the security of public loan guarantees, such as in the much-publicized case of Solyndra;
- The Solyndra loan guarantee was further politicized when the federal government’s “investor” standing was subordinated to the interest of a private investor—one who happened to be a prominent Obama fundraiser;
- The President’s effort to force a transition to “green energy” has pursued twin policies of raising the price of fossil fuels and subsidizing “green energy” at the expense of the domestic energy production sector. Domestic oil, gas and coal industries are being choked under a slew of aggressive federal regulations, despite the proven long-term, job-creating record of this industry;
- There exists an undeniable relationship between America’s prosperity and its access to affordable energy sources that if ignored, will setback economic growth;
- The Obama Administration is hypocritical in its energy policy: it promotes traditional energy sources abroad through loans and diplomacy, while openly discouraging it at home;
President Obama relied on the false pretense that subsidizing “green energy” as other nations such as Spain, Germany and Japan did would result in “good, high-wage jobs” when in actuality, nations such as Spain, Italy, Denmark, Germany and the U.K. have struggled with job destruction, higher energy costs and loss of taxpayer dollars as a result of pursuing such policies.