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This week in Michigan, we are reminded why the heavily subsidized industry of renewable energy as a viable job creator is in fact a myth. New Hampshire-based biofuel company Mascoma Corp., a company that has already consumed $40 million in state and federal subsidies, has created a staggering total of not one, not two, but three jobs since it received its first helping of taxpayer money in 2008.
The Michigan Capitol Confidential reports, “In September 2008, Mascoma pledged 70 jobs at the plant by the end of 2012. On Feb. 29 of this year, Mascoma reported to the MEDC that only three jobs had been created by the grant. The company has been given the full $20 million from the state.” On top of an additional $20 million received from the federal Department of Energy, Mascoma already has another $80 million of promised funding from the DOE. To credit Mascoma, the company did disclose in its SEC filing that it has “no experience in markets in which we intend to operate.” But in today’s economic reality, the voice of the market is frequently muted to the ears of big government.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce recently commissioned a report in the name of much-needed job creation. The numbers reflected in this report highlight the broken promise of the 5 million new green jobs that were expected to be created by the $90 billion these green programs received from the 2009 stimulus. I’ve summarized and bulleted the specific numbers on green jobs mentioned in the report below:
• Solyndra, the now-bankrupt California solar company that received a $535 million Federal loan guarantee after the Administration overruled its own experts who cautioned against the loan guarantee, laid off nearly 1,900 workers.
• Shepherd’s Flat wind farm proposed for Oregon has been a recipient of over $1.2 billion in total subsidies (mostly Federal but also State) and is estimated to create only 35 permanent jobs at a cost per job of $34 million.
• The stimulus’s $500 million Department of Labor-run program to train workers for green jobs such as installing solar panels or insulation in homes and buildings created only 8,035 jobs, a mere 10 percent of the program’s target, after one third of the job-training funds were expended. The Department of Labor Inspector General report indicated that only 1,336 of the 8,035 trainees that found jobs held them for more than 6 months. With $162 million dollars spent, that works out to more than $100,000 per permanent job.
Add Michigan to the list of calamties born out of the green economic agenda. The taxpayer will continue to hold the bag, regardless of its inability to yield the lasting jobs and prosperity it has touted. To read the entire 17-page report, click here.
Tags: bankrupt, Department of Labor, Energy and Commerce Committee, green jobs, job creation, renewable energy, Solyndra, subsidies, taxpayer
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