CLAIM: The stimulus bill’s support for clean, renewable energy sent jobs overseas.
Even the author most cited to support this claim says it’s not true. The stimulus has supported tens of thousands of jobs and billions in investment for renewable energy technologies.
Russ Choma of American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, who is often cited by critics of the stimulus bill’s clean, renewable energy policies, told the Washington Post on July 12 that his reporting actually showed no evidence of jobs being sent overseas. (Source: Washington Post, http://wapo.st/S96Mys)
According to Choma:
“I don’t think we saw anything that indicated the Obama administration pushed jobs overseas. What we found is that a large portion of the money from that program was given to foreign-owned companies to build wind farms here in the United States. We found those projects did create jobs here in the United States in construction and operation of those wind farms, but in many instances, the farms used turbines that may have been manufactured overseas. In many cases, manufacturers told us that domestically manufactured turbines were not available. When we last reported on the issue, we found that more and more domestic companies were getting involved, but I can’t say what the situation is today.”
The situation today – and since the stimulus bill was passed – is strong and getting stronger, and includes thousands of domestic jobs.
• A study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that the DOE Section 1603 program supported 43,000 to 66,000 jobs every year by from 2009 to 2011. (Source: NREL, http://1.usa.gov/Idmhyt)
• Experts at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) demonstrated that the Section 1603 program saved over 50,000 American jobs via the financing of specific wind farms that would have otherwise failed to come online in 2009. (Source: LBNL, http://1.usa.gov/aCe3A4)
• Domestic growth in the renewable sector is booming. Since 2011, U.S. wind generation has increased by nearly 30%. (Source: Energy Information Administration, http://bit.ly/zMPtn0)
• In 2011, U.S. solar photovoltaic installations grew by over 100% (Source: Solar Energy Industries Association, http://slidesha.re/AuCU8p)
• Investment is also growing: clean energy investment in the United States experienced a 42% increase from 2010 to 2011, to the tune of $48.1 billion. (Source: Pew Charitable Trusts / Bloomberg New Energy Finance, http://bit.ly/HtRYoB)
• The return on investment is significant. Wind power provided more than 1/3 of all new U.S. electric capacity over the last four years. (Source: American Wind Energy Association, http://bit.ly/LdoVF1)
• The Loan Guarantee Program has been credited with making solar “bankable” for major investors – shifting it from a risky investment requiring a costly premium to “part of a much broader capital market.” (Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek, http://buswk.co/N9AdLu)