JULY 30, 2013
The Obama administration has blown half a billion dollars to train workers for “green jobs” that will never exist and a federal audit confirms the costly program has failed miserably, with only half of the trainees getting work and most in areas unrelated to renewable energy industries.
This is hardly surprising considering the president’s $90 billion dollar green initiative has proven to be a monstrous failure plagued by fraud and corruption. Remember Solyndra, the startup California solar panel firm that got $535 million from the government before folding abruptly? The Obama administration fast-tracked the deal despite “serious concerns” of U.S. Treasury officials, according to a Treasury Inspector General report published after American taxpayers had been fleeced in the deal.
There have also been others like Fisker Automotive, the firm that collapsed after getting $200 million from the government to develop a special wheelchair-accessible “green” van. The fly-by-night company had been heavily touted by the administration as an innovator that would develop two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that could run up to 300 miles on a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.
Then there is the $21 million renewable energy experiment at a Virginia Navy base that won’t see a payoff for an astounding 447 years. That laughable project, which will only generate about 2% of the electricity required to operate the base, is part of the administration’s aggressive $335 million plan to transform the way the military gets its power in the name of reducing global warming.
There are a number of other similar examples of wasteful green projects funded by American taxpayers, making the administration’s huge investment in jobs the last hope. Now we know that it too has been a failure, according to report prepared by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress. It confirms that Obama’s promise as a presidential candidate to create 5 million green jobs over the next decade is simply not happening.
After investing $501 million since 2009 to train workers for jobs in fields associated with renewable energy and energy efficiency, few have found work in those areas, the GAO found. In fact job placement was a dismal 55% of the target and most of those positions aren’t considered “green jobs,” according to the GAO’s findings. The funds, which came from Obama’s disastrous stimulus, were managed by the Department of Labor (DOL), which distributed cash to more than 100 grantees.
“The outcomes of Labor’s green jobs training programs remain uncertain,” the report says, adding that challenges include a “lack of reliable green jobs labor market information” and “difficulty placing participants into green jobs.” This seems to defeat the purpose of investing hoards of taxpayer dollars to train people for jobs that don’t exist. It’s too late however, all the money is gone. The only thing the GAO could do is recommend that the DOL “identify lessons learned from the green jobs training programs to enhance its ability to implement such programs in emerging industries.”
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