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Another Green Flop



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The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on yet another “green jobs” boondoggle that has (surprise!) turned out to be a miserable failure. While not on the same scale as the half-billion dollar Solyndra mess, which the editors discuss here, the Seattle “weatherization” initiative was touted by Vice President Joe Biden in 2010 as a surefire plan to create jobs and heal the planet. The initiative, designed to make homes more energy efficient through improved insulation methods, was paid for by a $20 million federal grant. Its goal was to create 2,000 “living-wage jobs” by weatherizing 2,000 homes in mostly poor neighborhoods. So how’s it going?  

More than a year later, Seattle’s numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers. Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable.

“The jobs haven’t surfaced yet,” said Michael Woo, director of Got Green, a Seattle community organizing group focused on the environment and social justice.

“It’s been a very slow and tedious process. It’s almost painful, the number of meetings people have gone to. Those are the people who got jobs. There’s been no real investment for the broader public.”

More here (with video).



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