NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Millions Spent on Green Energy Jobs that Don't Exist

August 12, 2013

A recent Government Accountability Office report revealed that the Obama administration spent $501 million of taxpayer money on "green energy training programs" for jobs that do not exist in the green energy sector, says Kate Andrews, writing at

The half-a-billion dollar training program, funded by the 2009 stimulus bill, resulted in 55 percent employment; this equates to only 11,000 jobs, many of which are part-time.

This failed initiative is not just another reminder that the federal government has no business picking winners and losers in the private sector (their winners always seem to lose); the distribution of the job-training funds has revealed blatant favoritism towards the public employee unions and special interest groups that endorsed Barack Obama for president.

  • The Bureau of Labor statistics defined a "green job" as one that could be linked directly, or indirectly, to a beneficial outcome for green energy.
  • According to Stephen Moore at the Wall Street Journal, this loose definition enabled stimulus money to be spent on training programs for janitors and bus drivers (both unionized positions), as well as environmental lobbyists who promoted green energy causes.

Further investigation has revealed that the stimulus money allocated for green energy training went to organizations that openly endorsed Barack Obama in 2008.

  • The Utility Workers Union of America enthusiastically endorsed Obama in 2008 and received $4,993,922 to spend on "green training programs."
  • The Blue-Green Alliance (an organization that unites unions and environmental organizations) received $5,000,000 from the stimulus grants to spend on training "dislocated workers, women and minorities." The organization's most prominent affiliate, Sierra Club, also endorsed Obama in 2008.

Source: Kate Andrews, "Revealing: Obama Administration Spends $500 Million on Green Energy Jobs that Don't Exist,", August 6, 2013.


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