Noticeably absent from President Obama’s latest economic-stimulus package are any further attempts to create jobs through « green » energy projects, reflecting a year in which the administration’s original, loudly trumpeted efforts proved largely unfruitful.
The long delays typical with environmentally friendly projects – combined with reports of green stimulus funds being used to create jobs in China and other countries, rather than in the U.S. – appear to have killed the administration’s appetite for pushing green projects as an economic cure.
After months of hype about the potential for green energy to stimulate job growth and lead the economy out of a recession, the results turned out to be disappointing, if not dismal. About $92 billion – more than 11 percent – of Mr. Obama’s original $814 billion of stimulus funds were targeted for renewable energy projects when the measure was pushed through Congress in early 2009.
The Department of Energy estimated that 82,000 jobs have been created and has acknowledged that as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion of manufacturing tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea and Spain, rather than in the United States.
Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland, said much of the green stimulus funding was « squandered. » « Large grants to build green buildings don’t generate many new jobs, except for a few architects, » he said.