President Obama’s push to create “green jobs” is “nothing more than a propaganda tool” that has resulted in minimal benefits for the economy, a report set to be released by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday says.
The staff report, which was obtained by The Hill, is the latest missive in a frontal assault by Republicans on the Obama administration’s pledge to create millions of green jobs.
“The metric of a ‘green job’ is nothing more than a propaganda tool designed to provide legitimacy to a pre-determined outcome that benefits a political ideology rather than the economy or the environment,” the report says.
The report comes amid intensifying criticism from Republicans of Obama’s clean energy agenda, which includes investments in low-carbon energy sources like wind and solar.
Solyndra, a California-based solar company that received a $535 million stimulus-law loan guarantee from the Obama administration in 2009, said in late August it would file for bankruptcy and lay off 1,100 workers.
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The incident has drawn the ire of Republicans, who say the administration missed red flags that hinted at the company’s financial troubles in its rush to invest in clean energy companies. They also allege that politics swayed the final decision on the loan guarantee.
The White House has strongly denied the allegations.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is holding a hearing Thursday called “How Obama’s Green Energy Agenda in Killing Jobs.” Issa will unveil the report at the hearing, which will include testimony from Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall.
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The report says the administration’s green policies have done nothing to spur job creation. The green jobs push has “worsened the state of an already struggling economy by over-regulating industries that foster job creation and misdirecting resources towards industries destined for failure,” the report says.
Any green jobs that have been created have come about “by shifting resources that might have generated more productive jobs elsewhere in the economy,” the report says.
“Three years and nearly a hundred billion dollars later, taxpayers have received little return from President Obama’s investments in ‘green jobs,’” the report concludes.
Issa intends to continue hammering the White House on its clean energy agenda in the coming months. He said Tuesday he is conducting an investigationinto the administration’s investments in private companies, citing the Solyndra bankruptcy. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are also investigating the incident.
But Democrats have new political ammunition to use against Issa. The Hill obtained documents earlier Wednesday that show Issa has sought government loans in the past for clean-energy projects in his home state, including a hybrid-car company and a lithium-ion manufacturer.
Amid all of the criticism from Republicans, the Obama administration is defending its clean energy investments.
The Energy Department announced that its weatherization program has made half a million homes more energy efficient and created 14,000 jobs.
“Our investments in clean energy innovation are creating hundreds of thousands of jobs around the country, developing entire industries and supply chains, and helping to make American companies to more competitive,” Poneman, who is slated to testify at Thursday’s hearing, said in a statement Wednesday morning.
Top administration officials say they are fully committed to investing in renewable energy. The Energy Department, for example, is in the process of finalizing 14 more loan guarantees, nine of which are for solar projects.
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