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With the scandalous bankruptcy of Solyndra (a shady California solar power company that received $535 million in stimulus funds and is now under investigation by the FBI) hanging overhead, President Obama wisely whitewashed any mention of “green jobs” out of his latest address to Congress.
But buried in the details of his latest government jobs bill released this week — Spawn of the Spendulus, Porky’s II, Night of the Keynesian Dead — are yet more big green boondoggles that will reward cronies, waste taxpayer dollars and make no dent in the jobless rate.
After pouring half a billion bucks into Solyndra, the company filed for Chapter 11 last month and laid off 1,110 employees. Obama administration officials met with Solyndra execs at least 20 times; the green cheerleader-in-chief personally visited and promoted the company in 2009 before his administration fast-tracked approval for the loans.
Solyndra is now the third solar company to go belly-up this year. Yet the Energy Department is doubling down on failure. As the FBI and House GOP investigators launch a probe into Enron-style accounting problems with Solyndra’s books, DOE is doling out more than $850 million in new loan guarantees for another California solar firm sponsored by NextEra Energy, along with nearly $200 million more for separate solar manufacturing facilities on the West Coast.
Obama claims new “investments” in environmentally friendly school construction projects will put thousands of Americans back to work immediately. (Never mind that Big Labor-backed rules and executive orders will raise the cost of the projects, slow their implementation and freeze out the vast majority of non-union contractors.) Among the new green pork initiatives: $25 billion for green roofs, green cleaning, installation of renewable energy generation and heating systems, and “modernization, renovation, or repair activities related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.”
But how are existing green construction spending programs working in practice?
A brand-new report from Texas Watchdog, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative group, sheds inconvenient light on Obama’s $5 billion stimulus-funded Weatherization Assistance Program. In Texas alone, the $327 million program has spent more than $226,000 on each of the 1,041 jobs the program is claimed to have created or saved.
Intended to “green” low-income homes, at least three of the original participating organizations have been shut down due to chronic mismanagement, fraud allegations and shoddy workmanship.
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