STIMULUS WEATHERIZATION PROGRAM BOGGED DOWN BY RED TAPE
February 19, 2010
A $5 billion federal weatherization program intended to save energy and create jobs has done little of either, says the Los Angeles Times.
According to a new report on the one-year anniversary of President Obama's American Reinvestment and Recovery Act:
- The $5-billion program is so riddled with drafts that so far it's weatherized only about 9,000 homes.
- Based on the initial Obama-Biden program promise that it would create 87,000 new jobs its first year, that would be about 10 jobs for each home weatherized so far.
- ABC News reports that the General Accountability Office will declare this week that the Energy Department has fallen woefully behind -- about 98.5 percent behind -- the 593,000 homes it initially predicted would be weatherized in the Recovery Act's very first year.
You'll never guess what the federal government blames for the lack of significant progress: Red tape. It seems that the Pelosi-Reid stimulus plan that was so quickly cobbled together and was supposed to immediately pump so much money into the sagging economy last year included an 80-year-old legal provision requiring all federally funded projects to pay a prevailing wage to workers.
But what's a prevailing wage for weatherization, you ask? Who knows? So the Energy Department asked the Labor Department, which set out to calculate what a prevailing weatherization wage is in every single one of the more than 3,000 counties across these United States.
The Energy folks did tell ABC they've so far spent $522 million Recovery Act dollars on the program. This comes to about $57,362 for each home fixed up so far, says the L.A. Times.
Source: Andrew Malcolm, "Obama's federal government can weatherize your home for only $57,362 each," Los Angeles Times, February 18, 2010.
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