• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obama's Green Jobs Program "Infused with Politics at Every Level"

    In a damning report, The Washington Post details its investigation of President Barack Obama’s much-hyped green jobs program. Its findings? Politics, not policy, underpinned the White House’s calculations. From The Post report:

    Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

    A centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s green jobs program, of course, was Solyndra, a solar power company based in California that was the beneficiary of a $535 million taxpayer-funded loan guarantee. That company went bankrupt last summer, leaving about 1,100 people out of work. The Washington Post writes that as Solyndra started to head toward bankruptcy last year, documents reveal that the White House’s focus was on the President’s re-election, not on taxpayers, workers, or alternative energy, more broadly:

    [Documents] show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the “optics” in Washington and the impact that the company’s failure could have on the president’s prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-
    energy technology.

    “What’s so troubling is that politics seems to be the dominant factor,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group. “They’re not talking about what the taxpayers are losing; they’re not talking about the failure of the technology, whether we bet on the wrong horse. What they are talking about is ‘How are we going to manage this politically?’?”

    The Post’s other findings? The White House granted “easy access to venture capitalists with stakes in some of the companies backed by the administration,” many of whom were Obama campaign donors. And others were given jobs in the Administration and “helped manage the clean-energy program.” What’s more, senior officials “pushed career bureaucrats to rush their decision” on the Solyndra loan in order to coincide with a visit by Vice President Joe Biden. The Post also reports that politics, “optics,” and political theater were at the top of the Administration’s mind, with one staffer writing that “a meltdown” at Solyndra “would likely be very embarrassing for DOE and the Administration.”

    Of course, The Post‘s report isn’t the first time the President’s green jobs program has come under fire. Congress subpoenaed the White House for documents pertaining to the Solyndra loan guarantee, and the Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General is “is investigating more than 100 potential instances of criminal abuse of stimulus loan monies,” according to a Daily Caller report. Even The New York Times reported that the President’s promise to create 5 million green jobs over 10 years has proven to be nothing more than “a pipe dream.”

    Fortunately, some in Congress are taking action. A Senate proposal would outlaw Solyndra-style loan guarantees by preventing the Department of Energy from subordinating taxpayers to private investors in the repayment of federally guaranteed loans.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Obama's Green Jobs Program "Infused with Politics at Every Level"

    1. Roger Baxter says:

      Why are you so late to the party? This has all been well known and widely reported on the blogs. You wait for WAPO? Shame on you, Heritage.

    2. art wissing says:

      the only jobs being saved, or created are the presidents and his corrupt cronies, doesnt the white house know we all see him and them for what they are? liars,everyone of them. how the american people ever elected this bunch of clowns …….be glad when this circus leaves town.

    3. mariaforsythe says:

      So how can you get in on this expansion of the clean, mean and "green" industries? By getting a "green" job that pays handsomely, of course you need a degree from universities like High Speed Universities.

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Roger Baxter has it right. It's hard to understand why HF will not recognize and admit this entire Obama
      administration is the most corrupt to ever govern this nation. Every policy, every deceision, every thought is
      based on how to reward their supporters with our tax dollars. Obama is smart enough to know he must give the American people an alternative to fossil fuels ( althought it's totally useless). That alternative is "greeen". Not the green as in energy, but the green in under the table kick-backs to his supporters. But in addition, it covers his deliberate attempt to collapse our economical system through the crippling of our fossil fuel energy industry.

    5. Mutantone says:

      I say follow the money that the green jobs got for free and where it went that should open more eyes as to what corruption is

    6. Bobbie says:

      take some ACTION! this man is costly and unproductive in every essential area! he builds weakness everywhere he's unconstitutional! step him aside!!

    7. Dixon says:

      Yes, do Follow the Money! Politics playing a role in energy subsidies? Surprised? Money wasted, lost on energy projects that received federal loans or loan guarantees? Surprised? What's new? Where have you guys been (Or, in the case of Fred Upton, how many lunches and dinners on Duke Energy's tab?) http://theclean.org/index.php/blog/entry/pigs-at-

    8. Jacob Cameron says:

      Seems like a bit of a shame if this is the case. Sadly politics can often get in the way of decent energy policy. I work on an energy directory, a recent article was looking at Obama's problems with oil sands. If interested check it out: http://www.energycareers.org/1398/americas-oil-ta

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×