The House Energy & Commerce Committee released a new report today that confirms that job creation was an afterthought as the Obama administration poured more than $10 billion into ‘stimulus’-funded energy grants with little to show for it. The committee’s report challenges assertions made by Energy Secretary Steven Chu that the funds – provided under section 1603 of the ‘stimulus’ – have “created tens of thousands of jobs,” finding that the administration cannot accurately account for how many jobs were created, and did not even consider potential job creation in the grant review process.
Here are few key findings from the report:
- According to the Treasury Department, “job creation is not one of the statutory requirements for eligibility and thus it is not a factor in the consideration process.” The Treasury Department also offered the Energy & Commerce Committee no estimate on the number of jobs that had been created.
- According to the Energy & Commerce Committee, the Energy Department “echoed Treasury, but also referenced estimates contained in a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) report,” which found that the 1603 grants “were estimated to support just over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs per year over the lifetime of the systems.” However, “removing indirect jobs, the estimate falls to” just 910 jobs annually - “alarmingly low figures,” the committee notes.
- According to the committee, “the job creation numbers that exist for Section 1603 are based on models, not actual data from completed projects. Neither Treasury nor DOE have turned over actual jobs data on the Section 1603 grants program to the Committee.”
Addressing the Obama administration’s lack of accountability on the 1603 grant program earlier this year, Speaker Boehner said “the American people continue to ask the question ‘Where are the jobs?’ They deserve answers and they deserve the truth.” Instead, President Obama is doubling down on the same failed ‘stimulus’ policies when “what we’ve learned so far suggests that the president should fold his cards,” says an op-ed in today’s Washington Post.
If the president is serious about addressing high gas prices, creating jobs and advancing America’s energy independence, there is a better way – several of them, in fact. House Republicans have passed 30 jobs bills – many focused on removing barriers to more American energy production to create jobs – that are sitting in the Democratic-controlled Senate. More will be added to that stack this week with House passage of the Domestic Energy & Jobs Act. It is up to President Obama to call on Senate Democrats to take action so these bills can be enacted – instead of calling for more of the same ‘stimulus’ policies that have failed 20 million unemployed and underemployed Americans and been resoundingly rejected by the American people.
Click HERE for the full Energy & Commerce Committee report.