Tough Month for “Green” Stimulus

Remember how the stimulus was pitched? In order to defibrillate job creation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was supposed to inject almost $1 trillion of taxpayer money into the economy, in a manner that was “timely, targeted, and temporary.”

About a tenth of ARRA funds were given to creating so-called “green jobs,” and a spate of recent news stories suggest that these “clean energy” stimulus dollars have been a massive failure. Instead of “timely, targeted, and temporary,” these environmentalist earmarks are better described as “late, loose, and lasting.” Consider:

  • Last year, Seattle was awarded $20 million in stimulus funds to weatherize buildings. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn promised that the money would improve energy efficiency in 200 buildings (in practice, this means calking and insulating), thereby creating 2,000 “green jobs.” This proved to be a gross overestimate. Two weeks ago, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer called the program a “bust.” The newspaper reported that a scant 14 jobs have been created, most of which were administration.
  • According to a recent New York Times article on the failure of President Barack Obama’s green jobs agenda, California has spent half of $186 million in stimulus money it received for weatherization programs. The money created a paltry 538 full time jobs, at a cost of almost $173,000 per job. What a crummy deal!
  • Then there’s Evergreen Solar, a solar-power components manufacturer. In April 2009, the White House issued a press-release stating that stimulus money* resulted in Evergreen Solar seeking to fill 90-100 jobs at a plant in Devens, Massachusetts. A year later, Evergreen Solar packed up its bags and moved operations to China. This month, it declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Read the rest of the story at  Awful Month for “Green” Stimulus.

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