Sunday, November 22, 2009

Green Stimulus Going Offshore

Hell if D.C. Didn't Offshore $849 Million in Stimulus for Windmills Already

By Leo Gerard
November 19, 2009 - 11:52am ET

Of the $1.05 billion in clean energy grants awarded by D.C., $849 million -- 84 percent -- went to foreign wind companies, according to an analysis by Russ Choma of the Investigative Reporting Workshop. He wrote:

"The cash grants were given for the installation of 1,763 megawatts of capacity - 1,566 installed by foreign companies. Using the Renewable Energy Policy Project's own numbers, as many as 4,500 manufacturing jobs may have been created overseas."

Stimulus Funds for Green Energy Projects Going Offshore along with Other U.S. Manufacturing
By Institute for Energy Research
Friday, November 6, 2009

The Obama Administration sold its $787 billion stimulus plan on the basis of improving the economy through investing in green energy and by doing so, increasing employment in the United States. But what is actually happening, particularly with wind and solar projects, is that the majority of the manufactured components are being built offshore in either Asia or Europe, resulting in foreign countries capturing a good deal of our stimulus funds and finding a lucrative haven for their products in the United States.

Solar Cells Manufactured Overseas

Not only are wind turbines mostly manufactured in countries overseas, but so are photovoltaic (PV) cells. Florida Power & Light (FPL) started operating its 25 megawatt photovoltaic solar plant in southwest Florida in conjunction with a visit to the plant by President Obama on October 27. [ix] The DeSoto plant in southwest Florida is the first of a total of 110 megawatts of solar capacity that FPL will install at 3 different sites by the end of 2010. Although Obama praised FPL’s work in the solar arena, he did not tell the American public that the components of the DeSoto plant are from foreign countries. While the PV cells were provided by a firm from California, they were made in the Phillipines. The steel PV frame holding the cells was produced in Canada, and the electrical parts and boxes were made in Germany, where solar power has been given heavy subsidies by the German Government. While German manufacturers have been producing PV technology for their country’s solar expansion, they are now concerned that China will take over their market due to costs that are 30% lower.[x]

New Wind Farms in the U.S. Do Not Bring Jobs

By JONATHAN KARL (@jonkarl)

Feb. 9, 2010

Nearly $2 billion in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been spent on wind power, funding the creation of enough new wind farms to power 2.4 million homes over the past year. But the study found that nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines.

Even with the infusion of so much stimulus money, a recent report by American Wind Energy Association showed a drop in U.S. wind manufacturing jobs last year.

Stimulus funding paying for overseas workers

By: Examiner Editorial | 10/21/11 8:00 PM

Two more such scandals appeared this week, but these latest outrages feature a new wrinkle — stimulus funds being used to create jobs for foreign workers. In the first example, the Obama administration handed $7.2 million to four Oregon logging companies to hire loggers in a severely depressed industry. But according to a Department of Labor inspector general’s report, only two jobs thus funded went to U.S. citizens: “Only two Oregonians were listed on the employer recruitment reports, indicating that workers in Oregon were likely unaware these job opportunities were available. In fact, although 146 U.S. workers were contacted by the employers regarding possible employment, none were hired. Instead, 254 foreign workers were brought into the country for these jobs.”

In the second new stimulus program scandal this week, the Obama administration gave electric carmaker Fisker Car Company a $529 million loan guarantee to build vehicles in the U.S. At the time, Vice President Joe Biden claimed “this is seed money that will return back to the American consumer in billions and billions and billions of dollars in good new jobs.” But the rest of the story came out this week when Fisker officials acknowledged that most of the jobs being created are actually in Finland. Allegedly they couldn’t find a suitable assembly facility here in the U.S., despite the fact Detroit is the birthplace of the automotive industry, virtually every major manufacturer from around the world has put factories in this country, and there are thousands of unemployed auto workers here. Administration officials approved the transfer of jobs to Finland.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner:

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