By Benjamin Gaul
“And I will invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade – jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced; jobs building solar panels and wind turbines and a new electricity grid; jobs that will help us eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East in ten years and help save the planet in the bargain. That’s how America can lead again.”
President Barack Obama, October 30, 2008
Obama handed over billions of dollars in loan guarantees and stimulus awards pursuant to his goal of putting one-million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Much of that money ended up leaving our shores. A $2.4 billion stimulus program to support battery production sent nearly half of its money to foreign firms, including two South Korean companies which used their awards to hire foreign nationals in Michigan to do work that Americans easily could have done. In the end, despite all the money Obama handed out, electric vehicle sales have lagged and The Washington Post deemed his goal of one million electric cars “overly optimistic.”
Obama’s stimulus included over $8.5 billion in grants for wind farms that flowed overseas, despite Congressional criticism from both sides of the aisle. In total, over half of the money went to either foreign developers or foreign wind turbine manufacturers, creating thousands of jobs overseas with money that was supposed to create jobs within the United States. Even worse, hundreds of millions of dollars went to wind farms that began construction before the stimulus was passed. The end result of all this spending: the wind energy industry in America lost 10,000 jobs, last year.
Tax Credits for Manufacturing
As Obama was doling out over $2.3 billion in clean energy manufacturing tax credits that were supposed to create jobs in America, $880 million went to foreign firms. Worse still, some of those same recipients are now closing up shop and shipping jobs overseas.
This is a list of Countries and companies who are cashing in on YOUR tax dollars, which were supposedly earmarked for the American economy, according to President Obama.
Swiss-Based Landis-Gyr received over $50 Million in stimulus contracts for their Smart-Grid meters. Cathy Zoi, a former Obama Energy Department official, held over $250,000 worth of stock in the company while they profited from her Department’s policies. Zoi had previously served as an Executive Director at Landis-Gyr, before joining the Obama Administration.
North Carolina based LED maker Cree Inc. received over $39 Million via the stimulus program, and later opened its first plant in China. Over half of the company’s employees are now located in China. Cree’s CEO says the company’s strategy is “Cree Chip, China Heart.” Which can be interpreted to mean “We’re keeping your money.”
Sempra received a $337 Million loan guarantee for an Arizona solar plant. The solar panels will be supplied by SunTech, a Chinese solar panel manufacturer.
General Electric canceled an order from wind turbine manufacturer ATI Casting, in order to get the parts cheaper from China. After ATI offered to match the price, GE still refused the order. ATI was forced to layoff 302 workers, due to the move. General Electric has also been criticized for using Chinese made wind towers in stead of American built towers at the stimulus funded Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon.
Solar Power Industries received a $5.4 Million stimulus grant, then began laying off American workers because of SPI’s increased reliance on imports from China.
After receiving a $500 Million loan guarantee, Fisker Automotive is producing their $100K Luxury Electric Sports Car, in Finland.
Subsidiaries of Danish wind mill maker Vestas received $51.6 Million in stimulus grants, to build factories in the U.S. They have recently announced plans to layoff 180 U.S. workers, and possibly another 1,600 by the end of the year.
The Windy Flats Project began construction before the stimulus was passed, then received a $218 Million stimulus grant. Windy Flats turned around and used wind turbines assembled by Seimans in Denmark.
Danish Catalyst company, Haldor Topsoe, received a $25 Million stimulus award for the construction of a demonstration-scale Bio-refinery.
Two Korean manufacturers of electric vehicle batteries were given $300 Million to build plants in Michigan. Union Workers are now claiming that Foreign Nationals are being brought in to fill jobs that they should be doing. Obama’s Department of Energy has admitted that 11 of the 18 contractors on-site are Asian firms, bringing in their own –much cheaper– labor.
The Gulf Wind Project received a $179 Million stimulus grant, and then sourced the parts from South Korea, Japan and Mexico.
The Melanoma Institute of Australia received a $162,000 stimulus contract to supply the National Cancer Institute with tumor samples.
SunPower admits that some of the Solar Panels for the $1.3 Billion stimulus backed California Solar Valley Ranch, will be manufactured at their facility in Mexico, rather than their facility in California.
ABB Inc. received over $16 Million in stimulus funds to create “Green Energy” manufacturing jobs. But the company has laid off workers in the U.S. and transferred work to Mexico.
Parago used stimulus funds to hire hundreds of workers in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, to administer a “Renewable Energy” Appliance Rebate Program.
A $817,000 stimulus contract was awarded to New Zealand’s Connexionz, to install city bus monitors for the City of Santa Clarita. A local contractor, who should have performed the work, objected to the funds going overseas.
After taking a Taxpayer-funded bailout, General Motors opened a $200 Million plant in Thailand, to supply Diesel engines for the Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck.
General Electric opened a $61 Million factory in Hai Pong, to produce wind turbine components. GE’s CEO Jeffery Immelt –who Chairs the President’s Jobs Council– said the company has received over $1.2 Billion in stimulus funds.
Brevini Wind was given a $12.75 Million tax credit to build and run a facility used to manufacture wind turbine gearboxes, in Indiana. Over two years later, the company has only hired 70 of the 450 workers promised, and the company has announced they do not expect to begin operating the facility until late 2013.
Italian wind turbine manufacturers pulled down over $84 Million in Cash Grants through the stimulus’ 1603 Program.
Ener1 received over $118 Million in stimulus funds to produce electric vehicle batteries. After going bankrupt, it was acquired outright by a Russian investor, sparking security concerns surrounding the company’s work for the U.S. Military.
E.ON Climate & Renewables received over $440 Million in stimulus grants, for wind farms which they’d began construction on before the stimulus was passed.
At least 25 wind turbines for Stimulus Funded Projects were supplied by German based Nordex.
Luxembourg based ArcelorMittal’s subsidiary received $31.5 Million in stimulus funds for a Waste Heat Recovery Unit.
Parago used stimulus funds to hire hundreds of workers in El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, to Administer a Renewable Energy Appliance Rebate Program.
$39 Million in stimulus funds went to Navistar for electric delivery trucks which are manufactured in Coventry, England.
British Private-Equity firm Terra Firma received over $40 Million in stimulus funds through an American wind energy consortium, which it had purchased just days before the stimulus funds were awarded.
India based Suzlon, and its subsidiaries, installed over 200 wind turbines under Obama’s Stimulus Grant Program, with most of the materials coming from its overseas operations.
Iberdrola Renewables received $1.5 Billion in loans and grants, and then claimed it had “Created over 15,000 American Jobs,” but the company only has 850 U.S. based employees.
Madrid’s EDP Renewables received over $100 Million in grants for their wind farms, then announced in September 2011 that they were planning to lay off 10% of their North American workforce.
The EPA gave a $1.5 Million grant to Indonesia, to reduce air pollution in Jakarta.
Japanese subsidiary Eurus Energy received $91.4 Million in stimulus grants for a wind farm built and completed before the stimulus was even passed, then used 180 turbines manufactured overseas by Mitsubishi.
French wind farm developer EnXco, pulled down over $69 Million in Cash Grants through the stimulus’ 1603 Program.
How exactly does any of this Foreign Aide stimulate the American economy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, or promote jobs for Americans? I’d like to know.