MAY 16, 2014
It’s bad enough that American taxpayers have been repeatedly fleeced by President Obama’s many failed “green” projects, now the commander-in-chief is dedicating an extra $2 billion—on top of $2 billion already dispersed in 2011—to make federal buildings in the United States energy efficient.
It’s a necessary expense to protect the planet, according to the global warming movement spearheaded—and largely funded—by the U.S. government and much of the international community. This particular investment will cut carbon pollution by more than 380 million metric tons, according to a White House announcement. That’s equivalent to removing 80 million cars from roads for a year, the administration asserts. How exactly? By equipping federal buildings with “smarter appliances” and upgrading the structures so that they are more energy efficient, whatever that means.
What we do know is that it will cost an eye-popping $4 billion to do it right. “These investments will save Americans billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector,” the White House announcement says. It doesn’t offer any further information on the “independent estimates” that predict the creation of thousands of jobs, however. That means we must trust that the government is being truthful, which is all too often not the case.
This brings to mind another taxpayer-funded green boondoggle that didn’t quite pan out the way the government predicted. It involves a Norfolk Virginia Navy base that got $21 million worth of solar panels under the Obama administration’s aggressive initiative to transform the way the military gets its power in the name of reducing global warming. It will take the U.S. Navy a mind-boggling 447 years to benefit from the costly investment, which is supposed to save money by lowering utility bills. No one in government seems to be sweating it in fact the project manager for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command said this in a local newspaper: “You have to start somewhere.”
The recent allocation to make federal buildings greener is part of a broader effort to advance solar deployment and energy efficiency, which in turn will cut carbon pollution. The initiative will also launch training programs at community colleges across the country to assist 50,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020, the White House reveals. “Supported by historic investments in research, development, and deployment, the price of solar technologies has decreased and the U.S. solar market has experienced rapid growth since President Obama took office,” the White House announcement says.
Could it be referring to Solyndra, the fly by night solar panel firm that folded after receiving $535 million from the U.S. government? The administration fast-tracked the cash flow for a top Obama fundraiser named George Kaiser, who spearheaded the now-defunct northern California company. More than 1,000 workers got laid off and American taxpayers got stiffed. Judicial Watch has an ongoing Solyndra investigation and has filed a lawsuit to obtain records that can reveal how the controversial deal went down on behalf of a politically-connected entrepreneur that had raised large sums for the president.
In addition to Solyndra, the administration has doled out hundreds of millions more to risky green energy ventures that failed miserably. A startup named Fisker Automotive got $200 million to develop a wheelchair-accessible “green” van before going bankrupt. Another new business called Vehicle Production Group went under after losing $50 million in taxpayer funds to create special vans for the disabled that run on compressed natural gas. Last fall a company called ECOtality that makes charging stations for electric cars collapsed after getting $99.9 million from the government.
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