An Ill Wind Blows
There’s an ill wind blowing, both from the from the clean-energy program from last year’s Stimulus and from some of Obama’s erstwhile Democrats in the Senate. It’s carrying the wreak of failure and internal dissent straight into the face of President Obama and his Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner.
It seems that the renewable energy grants included in the Stimulus are stimulating other countries’ economies instead America’s and various Democrats in the Senate are rightfully angered by this.
Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana announced Wednesday a new initiative to require the “Buy America” provision of the stimulus to all programs, not just the government ones. A study done by the Investigative Reporting Workshop found that 79 percent of the $2 billion in clean-energy grants allocated since Sept. 1, 2009, has gone to foreign wind companies.
“We are demanding the Obama administration suspend this program immediately … [and] indefinitely,” Schumer said. “We are sending a letter to Secretary [Timothy] Geithner asking him to halt all payouts for this program until we in Congress can go back and fix this law.”
The senators highlighted a wind farm project in west Texas, which received stimulus aid and is projected to create 3,000 jobs in China and a tenth as many in the United States.
“Some of us complained about this to the administration back in November when this project was first announced, so it’s not that they don’t know about it, but the Energy Department in their reply said they were powerless to stop it because projects like this are automatically eligible for the grants. That answer is not good enough,” Schumer said. “The goal of the stimulus is to strengthen the American economy, and that means creating jobs here in the U.S. not in China.”
That’s right; 79% of the $2 billion in clean-energy grants allocated through the Stimulus since Sept. 1, 2009, have gone to foreign wind companies. That’s $1.58 billion of the American taxpayers’ money going into the coffers of foreign companies.
It’s shockingly refreshing and somewhat heartening to see at least some of the Democrats in Congress not bowing and scraping to Obama and actually looking out for Americans.
At least it proves that President Obama’s claims that the Stimulus and renewable energy would each create jobs was true, at least in a Rovian sense; just the bulk of them won’t be American jobs.
Tags: Casey | Democrats | Economy | Employment | Energy Independence | Free Trade | Geithner | Green | Jon Tester | Nationalism | Obama | Politics | Protectionism | Schumer | Sherrod Brown | Stimulus | US Senate | Wind Power