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$20M Taxpayer Dollars Nets 14 ‘Green’ Jobs

From Fox News:

Seattle Green Jobs Program Gets $20M, Creates 14 Posts

By Dan Springer
Published August 29, 2011 | FoxNews.com

A green jobs program in one of America’s greenest cities is being called a bust 16 months after a $20 million federal grant to weatherize homes in Seattle ended up putting just 14 people to work in mostly administrative jobs and upgrading only three homes in the area.

"The jobs are not there," Todd Myers, who wrote the book "Eco Fads," told Fox News. "So we’re training people for jobs that don’t exist."

Seattle is not alone. The Department of Energy has allocated $508 million to 41 states for its Better Buildings Neighborhood Program and 600 jobs have been created or retained.

"While communities are advancing their programs at different rates, we are pleased with the progress," the agency wrote in a recent statement.

One year into the three-year program, 9,000 homes have had energy audits and received some kind of upgrade. The goal is to weatherize 150,000 homes by 2013 and save consumers $65 million annually on energy bills…

Contractors who do the energy audits and home retrofits blame government for getting in the way. To be a participating business in Seattle, the contractor is required to pay workers $21 an hour with full benefits, including retirement pay. But according to several small business owners in the area, the prevailing wage for new workers who lay insulation is $12. per hour

As we recall from earlier stories on this subject, a major problem is that everyone involved has to be unionized. And that is what is dictating the high salaries and generous benefits.

[O]thers say the biggest problem with the program is government is trying to create a market that consumers don’t want. The average homeowner in the U.S. pays about $2,000 a year for energy.

The weatherization upgrades are aimed at saving 15 percent on energy consumption. If the retrofit costs $10,000 even with all the government incentives, it will take over 30 years to pay off through lower energy bills…

Among the other cities having trouble fulfilling the green jobs promise are Toledo, Kansas City and Phoenix. So far, those cities have created a combined 72 jobs with $65 million in grants.

The difficulty is magnified on the federal level. President Obama once said he wanted to create 5 million green jobs over 10 years. The 2009 stimulus package included $5 billion toward that goal.

A chunk of that money went for weatherization programs, but according to a Department of Energy inspector general report one year later, "only two of the 10 highest-funded recipients completed more than 2 percent of planned units."

Where is ‘Sheriff Joe’?

Actually, by Obama’s stimulus standards, this is not bad at all. After all, some union people got government money. And that was the real goal.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “$20M Taxpayer Dollars Nets 14 ‘Green’ Jobs”

  1. Right of the People says:

    A myopic six year old could see this is ludicrous. Spending $508 billion dollars to save $65 million a year? It will pay for itself in only 7815 years, what a savings for us. We could probably do it cheaper if we just converted their homes to burn dollar bills.

    Like Steve said it did accomplish its main goal and that was to give some union hack some money. Where’s that bottle of Wild Turkey?

  2. sticks says:

    You guys just don’t get it, government spending wiil solve all our problems.
    1. Government spending will save the earth’s environment.
    2. Government spending will make our enemies love us.
    3. Government spending will make our children wise and learned.
    4. Government spending will make us all rich.
    5. Government spending will make government operate with integrity.
    6. Government spending will punish the criminals.
    7. Government spending will reward those who work hard.
    Need I go on? the problem is that stick in the mud people (such as everyone here myself included) and those they manage to get elected won’t let the government spend enough money till we finally break through to the good times. If the Democrates keep power after 2012 they won’t let a few cry babies stop them.

  3. Mithrandir says:


    That is the entire problem with liberalism: their “jobs” are not self-sustaining. Eventually, the job will be finished, or, in order to sustain the job, they will continuously need more money since they can’t earn it themselves.

    Look at the stimulus waste:http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/stimulus-waste

    Guard rails? University studies? Summer youth jobs? Computer upgrades for government departments? Federal worker pay raises?
    –These things are self-sustaining? Guard rails generate income? Government giving government money benefits us?

    Here comes STIMULUS 2! The vote-buying scam voter stimulus plan for 2012.

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