Key Dems: Obama's 'green jobs' plan a bust

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    Aug 19, 2011 3:51 PM GMT
    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/key-dems-obamas-green-jobs-plan-bust

    Some top Congressional Democrats are losing faith in President Obama's signature employment initiative, the promotion of so-called "green jobs." They've lost so much faith that on Thursday one liberal Democratic member of Congress called the president's green jobs program "a lot of talk."

    "Of course, we want to be a part of the new innovation and the green jobs," Rep. Maxine Waters said on MSNBC Thursday. "But you know, the green jobs have been about a lot of talk and not a lot has been happening on that." A few hours later, also on MSNBC, Waters said flatly: "All of this talk about the green jobs never materialized."

    Waters is a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Last month, the chairman of that group, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, told the Huffington Post that green jobs had little meaning for his constituents. "African-Americans out there were saying, 'What do we have in common with this new, green technology?'" Cleaver told the website.

    The skepticism from Waters and Cleaver comes after a Washington Post-ABC poll, published July 26, found serious erosion in liberal Democratic support for Obama's jobs policies. "The number of liberal Democrats who strongly support Obama’s record on jobs plunged 22 points from 53 percent last year to 31 percent," the Post reported.

    That skepticism is based on real-world evidence. "In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned," says the New York Times in a new report from California. "President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream."

    For example, the paper reports that California received $186 million in the stimulus bill for the purpose of weatherizing homes. So far, the state has spent about half of the money and created the equivalent of 538 jobs. "The weatherization program was initially delayed for seven months while the federal Department of Labor determined prevailing wage standards for the industry," the Times reports. "Even after that issue was resolved, the program never really caught on as homeowners balked at the upfront costs."
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    Aug 19, 2011 3:55 PM GMT
    These "jobs" as well as the expected government-financed "jobs" that will undoubtedly be part of the awaited Obama September Jobs Program, will be labeled "shovel-ready" as a clear reference to his previous failure.
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    Aug 21, 2011 1:38 PM GMT
    What I think is remarkable is that President Obama is on record to promising 5,000,000 in green jobs in part the result of his regulation and "stimulus" spending.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/us/19bcgreen.html

    President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream.


    Here's the record of what's happened so far:

    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/581654/201108161838/Wasted-Stimulus.aspx

    Politico has reported that "he's spent considerable time since entering the White House trying to make that happen."

    Indeed he has, though there has been no payoff. Yet he refuses give up on his quixotic quest. Last week Obama toured to much fanfare a Johnson Controls plant in Michigan where $300 million in conservation grants produced 150 jobs — at a cost of $2 million per position.

    Stimulus funds intended to boost the green economy haven't been well spent. The latest example of this is Monday's bankruptcy filing by Evergreen Solar Inc.

    The Massachusetts company that the White House once said "is hoping to hire 90 to 100 people" thanks to stimulus money has $485.6 million in debt. Evergreen closed a factory in March, reports the Boston Herald, and cut 800 jobs. A Michigan plant is to be shut down, as well, causing the loss of even more jobs.

    Evergreen isn't the only supposed conservation company that can't make it even when fronted with piles of taxpayer money. Green Vehicles of Salinas, Calif., which has burned through more than $500,000 in money "invested" by the city, folded last month without having produced anything of significance. The company promised it would employ about 70 and pay back Salinas taxpayers with $700,000 a year in city taxes.

    Farther north in Seattle, stimulus funds are also being wasted. A $20 million federal grant for home weatherization has, according to KOMO news, retrofitted only three houses and created 14 jobs in more than a year.


    Just remember that there are many on these forums that advocate more of the same spending - that we are about to enter a recession and have not fully emerged from the last because of a lack of this kind of spending. As if digging ditches and filling them back in somehow will result in kickstarting the economy.
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    Aug 21, 2011 1:56 PM GMT
    I would love if just once those of you who claim expertise in economic matters actually demonstrated it. icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 21, 2011 2:19 PM GMT
    Evergreen never received federal funds (only received Mass. state grant). And Chinese state-sponsored competition is driving it out of business.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/15/business/energy-environment/15solar.html?pagewanted=allIan A. Bowles, the former energy and environment chief for Gov. Deval L. Patrick, a Democrat who pushed for the solar panel factory to be located in Massachusetts, said the federal government had not helped the American industry enough or done enough to challenge Chinese government subsidies for its industry. Evergreen has received no federal money.

    “The federal government has brought a knife to a gun fight,” Mr. Bowles said. “Its support is completely out of proportion to the support displayed by China — and even to that in Europe.”
    ...
    Evergreen, with help from its partners — the Wuhan municipal government and the Hubei provincial government — borrowed two-thirds of the cost of its Wuhan factory from two Chinese banks, at an interest rate that under certain conditions could go as low as 4.8 percent, Mr. El-Hillow said in August. Best of all, no principal payments or interest payments will be due until the end of the loan in 2015.

    By contrast, a $21 million grant from Massachusetts covered 5 percent of the cost of the Devens factory, and the company had to borrow the rest from banks, Mr. El-Hillow said.

    Banks in the United States were reluctant to provide the rest of the money even at double-digit interest rates, partly because of the financial crisis. “Therein lies the hidden advantage of being in China,” Mr. El-Hillow said.


    The green energy sector employs more people (2.7 million)than the fossil fuel sector (2.4 million). There was a significant boost in 2008-9. See chapter 4, figures 1 and 2:

    http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2011/0713_clean_economy.aspx

    More on China's $760 billion investment in the next 10 years in clean energy:

    http://mediamatters.org/research/201108180016
    http://www.greenconduct.com/news/2011/04/14/in-china-clean-energy-transition-brings-jobs-and-lessons-for-the-world/
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    Aug 21, 2011 8:20 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidEvergreen never received federal funds (only received Mass. state grant). And Chinese state-sponsored competition is driving it out of business.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/15/business/energy-environment/15solar.html?pagewanted=allIan A. Bowles, the former energy and environment chief for Gov. Deval L. Patrick, a Democrat who pushed for the solar panel factory to be located in Massachusetts, said the federal government had not helped the American industry enough or done enough to challenge Chinese government subsidies for its industry. Evergreen has received no federal money.

    “The federal government has brought a knife to a gun fight,” Mr. Bowles said. “Its support is completely out of proportion to the support displayed by China — and even to that in Europe.”
    ...
    Evergreen, with help from its partners — the Wuhan municipal government and the Hubei provincial government — borrowed two-thirds of the cost of its Wuhan factory from two Chinese banks, at an interest rate that under certain conditions could go as low as 4.8 percent, Mr. El-Hillow said in August. Best of all, no principal payments or interest payments will be due until the end of the loan in 2015.

    By contrast, a $21 million grant from Massachusetts covered 5 percent of the cost of the Devens factory, and the company had to borrow the rest from banks, Mr. El-Hillow said.

    Banks in the United States were reluctant to provide the rest of the money even at double-digit interest rates, partly because of the financial crisis. “Therein lies the hidden advantage of being in China,” Mr. El-Hillow said.


    The green energy sector employs more people (2.7 million)than the fossil fuel sector (2.4 million). There was a significant boost in 2008-9. See chapter 4, figures 1 and 2:

    http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2011/0713_clean_economy.aspx

    More on China's $760 billion investment in the next 10 years in clean energy:

    http://mediamatters.org/research/201108180016
    http://www.greenconduct.com/news/2011/04/14/in-china-clean-energy-transition-brings-jobs-and-lessons-for-the-world/


    And this is in no part thanks to the Obama Administration. There are some real tangible benefits to "going green" - which encompasses more efficient energy and resource utility that require no subsidies. The point however is that Obama has promised half a million more clean tech jobs.
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    Aug 21, 2011 8:22 PM GMT
    Yes, it's all Obama's fault--because he didn't ask for more stimulus! icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 21, 2011 8:36 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidYes, it's all Obama's fault--because he didn't ask for more stimulus! icon_lol.gif


    Hey - it's your tax dollars. icon_wink.gif - again that saying about insanity and doing the same things over and over and thinking the outcomes will be different...
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    Aug 21, 2011 10:32 PM GMT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Recovery_and_Reinvestment_Act_of_2009Energy efficiency and renewable energy research and investment
    Loans and investments into green energy technology are a significant part of the final bill

    Total: $27.2 billion


    http://www.greenconduct.com/news/2011/04/14/in-china-clean-energy-transition-brings-jobs-and-lessons-for-the-world/In 2009, the country overtook the United States to become the global leader in clean energy investment, and in 2010 this Chinese investment reached US$54.4 billion, dwarfing the $34 billion from the U.S. With such impressive finance and investment, it’s no wonder that China’s clean energy sector has been growing so rapidly. By the end of 2010, China had installed a total of 44.7 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity, surpassing the United States to become the world’s biggest wind power market. And China has been the world’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) producer since 2008, with an annual production capacity of 20 GW at the end of 2010.

    brookingschina.jpg
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    Aug 22, 2011 12:13 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 said
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Recovery_and_Reinvestment_Act_of_2009Energy efficiency and renewable energy research and investment
    Loans and investments into green energy technology are a significant part of the final bill

    Total: $27.2 billion


    http://www.greenconduct.com/news/2011/04/14/in-china-clean-energy-transition-brings-jobs-and-lessons-for-the-world/In 2009, the country overtook the United States to become the global leader in clean energy investment, and in 2010 this Chinese investment reached US$54.4 billion, dwarfing the $34 billion from the U.S. With such impressive finance and investment, it’s no wonder that China’s clean energy sector has been growing so rapidly. By the end of 2010, China had installed a total of 44.7 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity, surpassing the United States to become the world’s biggest wind power market. And China has been the world’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) producer since 2008, with an annual production capacity of 20 GW at the end of 2010.

    brookingschina.jpg


    Not sure the point you think you're arguing - given of course that all investment is not created equal and as far as efficiency goes, government investment whether by the US or by China will be far less efficient than one driven by actual demand and private investors.
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    Sep 15, 2011 4:09 PM GMT
    The issue that just won't go away - the failed attempts by this administration at "creating jobs".

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-green-tech-program-that-backed-solyndra-struggles-to-create-jobs/2011/09/07/gIQA9Zs3SK_story.html

    A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show.

    The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.

    President Obama has made “green jobs” a showcase of his recovery plan, vowing to foster new jobs, new technologies and more competitive American industries. But the loan guarantee program came under scrutiny Wednesday from Republicans and Democrats at a House oversight committee hearing about the collapse of Solyndra, a solar-panel maker whose closure could leave taxpayers on the hook for as much as $527 million.

    The GOP lawmakers accused the administration of rushing approval of a guarantee of the firm’s project and failing to adequately vet it. “My goodness. We should be reviewing every one of these loan guarantee” projects, said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

    Obama’s efforts to create green jobs are lagging behind expectations at a time of persistently high unemployment. Many economists say that because alternative-­energy projects are so expensive and slow to ramp up, they are not the most efficient way to stimulate the economy.

    “There are good reasons to create green jobs, but they have more to do with green than with jobs,” Princeton University economics professor and former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder has said.
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    Sep 15, 2011 4:31 PM GMT
    It gets worse.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/solyndra-loan-now-treasury-launching-investigation/story?id=14521917

    Solyndra Loan: Now Treasury Dept. Is Launching Investigation

    The Treasury Department's inspector general has opened a new front in the investigation of the government loan to Solyndra, the now bankrupt company that had been touted as a model of President Obama's ambitious green energy program, ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity/iWatch News have learned.

    The new probe involves the $535 million loan, arranged by the Energy Department, but actually processed by the Federal Financing Bank, a government lending institution that falls under Treasury's control. Already, the FBI and the Energy Department's inspector general have executed search warrants at Solyndra's headquarters and questioned company executives.

    "We're going to look at everything the FFB had to do with its role in this thing," Rich Delmar, a spokesman for the Treasury Department's inspector general, told ABC News and iWatch News.

    Earlier this month, iWatch News and ABC News disclosed that Solyndra received a rock-bottom interest rate of 1 to 2 percent -- lower than those affixed to other Energy Department green energy projects. The low rate was set even as an outside agency, Fitch Rating, scored Solyndra as a B+ -- "speculative" -- investment. Energy Department officials said the bank set the rate, based on formulas including the payout length, and that Solyndra did not receive special treatment.

    Word of the broadening probe came as the head of the Energy Department's loan program came before Congress at a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

    After spending months touting the Obama administration's decision to loan $535 million to Solyndra, top officials took a new tack Wednesday while testifying about the company's abrupt shut-down and bankruptcy: the loan, they said, was actually the Bush administration's idea.

    The Energy Department's top lending officer told Congress that the Solyndra loan application was not only filed during President Bush's term, but it surged towards completion before Obama took office in January 2009.

    "By the time the Obama administration took office in late January 2009, the loan programs' staff had already established a goal of, and timeline for, issuing the company a conditional loan guarantee commitment in March 2009," said Jonathan Silver, who heads the Energy loan program.

    Even after the loan was restructured in 2011, the Energy Department and other administration officials continued to tout Solyndra's prospects.


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    Sep 15, 2011 5:23 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidI would love if just once those of you who claim expertise in economic matters actually demonstrated it. icon_lol.gif


    Even better, I'd be delighted if you would demonstrate at any point in world history that your assertions have actually worked.

    I'm not selfish.

    I win if you can do this.