The senator points out that money for green jobs comes not only from the stimulus but also from the Green Jobs Act of 2007, which calls for the government to spend $125 million per year on "energy efficiency and renewable energy" worker training. The legislation specifically refers to things like retrofitting buildings, biofuels and wind turbines. What do financial advisers, wholesale buyers and reporters have to do with that?
Grassley is waiting for an answer.
In a statement, the senator says he's a "big supporter" of green jobs. "But the government shouldn't cook the books with how it defines these jobs," he adds. "Taxpayers deserve an honest accounting for the nearly half billion of their dollars being spent on this program. If the government plans to lump reporters, marketing managers and financial analysts into its definition, then I'm afraid this is yet another area where the administration and the American people just don't see eye to eye."
For the administration, Grassley's discovery is just the latest in a long line of embarrassments on the green-jobs front. First, there was the controversy surrounding departed green-jobs czar Van Jones. Then there was widespread skepticism about the nearly 200,000 such jobs the administration claims to have created. And then there was the unhappiness on Capitol Hill over reports that of $2.1 billion the government has granted for renewable energy jobs, like assembling wind turbines, about 80 percent has gone to foreign companies. The stimulus has created some actual green jobs, but they're in China.
The promotion of green jobs with stimulus money -- a marriage of the Obama administration's environmental and economic agendas -- has been a top priority for the White House since day one. It still is. Just last month, Vice President Biden traveled to New Hampshire to tout "good-paying jobs, green jobs, jobs that can't be exported."
It sounds good. But if you look a little closer into the administration's claims, you'll find they literally don't know what they're talking about.