‘We’ll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new green jobs that pay well, can’t be outsourced, and help end our dependence on foreign oil,” candidate Barack Obama pledged in a radio address on November 1, 2008.
Three years and eight months later, as unemployment has exceeded 8 percent for 41 straight months, Obama seems incapable of keeping this promise. With the worst employment figures since at least 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics started measuring them, Obama has made a dog’s breakfast of jobs — green and otherwise.
Consider three key Department of Energy programs. DOE’s website boasts that its “clean energy” initiatives — dubbed 1703, 1705, and Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) — loaned $34.7 billion and launched “nearly 60,000” jobs. This totals a staggering $578,333 per position.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, private employers pay workers, on average, $62,757 annually in wages and benefits. So, Obama is “creating jobs” at 922 percent of the private sector’s cost of employing workers for a year. For every green job that Obama supposedly spawns with taxpayer dollars and borrowed Chinese money, private enterprises could hire nine people.
Obama touts green-energy “investments,” even though this is not Obama’s money to invest. Rather than choose winners and losers, which would be bad enough, Team Obama picks losers. It subsidized at least 10 “clean” companies that went kaput.
In death, Solyndra has proved anything but green. As San Francisco’s KCBS-TV reported in April, Solyndra’s facility in Milpitas, Calif., features metal drums marked “hazardous waste.” Cadmium, lead, unidentified black chemicals, and other toxins haunt the premises. A company called iStar said it would remove these poisons — as soon as Solyndra pays its bills.
Solyndra also discarded still-valuable solar-panel components, even though selling them could have generated capital to reimburse its creditors, including America’s taxpayers.
These doomed projects alone devoured $3.4 billion in taxpayer funds and commitments.
Rather than slam Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital — which deployed private capital behind Staples, Sports Authority, and other still-thriving corporations — President Obama should beg taxpayers’ forgiveness for pouring their hard-earned cash down at least ten green rat holes.
— New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.