Before Calling Green Jobs “Propaganda,” House Republicans Requested Millions to Create a “Green Collar” Workforce

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is leading his party’s charge against green jobs.  The Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and his fellow Republicans call the reality of green jobs a “propaganda tool” that is part of a “political ideology.”

But before taking on his politically advantageous anti-green jobs crusade, Issa sought government funds from the Department of Energy for an advanced battery manufacturing plant, saying it would help create “green collar” jobs.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote Energy Secretary Steven Chu to support an Energy Department loan for Aptera Motors Inc., a Carlsbad, California, electric-car maker, according to a letter received by the department Jan. 14, 2010.

“Awarding this opportunity to Aptera Motors will greatly assist a leading developer of electric vehicles in my district,” Issa wrote in letters obtained yesterday.

Issa also signed a June 22, 2009, letter to Chu promoting battery maker Quallion LLC, based in Sylmar, California. An Energy Department clean-energy grant might create more than 2,300 jobs nationwide, according to the letter, which was signed by Issa and 16 members of California’s delegation.

The grant program is a “huge step forward” to improving the environment, eliminating dependence on foreign oil and creating a modern “green collar” U.S. workforce, according to the letter.

But that isn’t all. Issa also claims the loan guarantee program — a financing tool signed into law by the Bush Administration that helps leverage private capital for projects — “picks winners and losers.” However, like his Colleague Fred Upton, Issa has been a major supporter of loan guarantees in the past for nuclear projects.

[A]dapting our tax structure to incentivize investments in nuclear technologies and using the guarantee of the federal government to jump-start a robust nuclear energy program, we can reclaim our place in the world and reduce our dependence on carbon-rich fossil fuels.

These two are not alone. It turns out that Republican House members host $11.8 billion in conditional commitments or closed loan guarantees for projects in their districts.

In preparation for today’s Oversight Committee hearing on “How Obama’s Green Energy Agenda is Killing Jobs,” staff Republicans issued an anti-green jobs report that concludes: “The metric of a ‘green job’ is nothing more than a propaganda tool designed to provide legitimacy to a pre-determined outcome that benefits a political ideology rather than the economy or the environment.”

But like Issa, many top republicans have repeatedly sought funds for clean energy projects in their districts, according to E&E News:

As Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee prepare to blast top Obama administration officials tomorrow over the White House’s “green jobs” agenda, letters obtained by E&E Daily tonight show that at least 10 of the 23 GOP members of the panel have at some point advocated for green projects.

In one letter dated Oct. 30, 2009, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), the second-highest-ranking Republican on the committee and its former chairman, joined 10 Indiana members of Congress to express his support for a loan application submitted by Abound Solar Inc. Abound Solar was seeking a loan under the same DOE loan guarantee program that has become the focus of intense criticism by the GOP ever since the California solar energy company Solyndra, which received more than half a billion dollars in government loans, filed for bankruptcy late last month.

In another letter sent to Chu on Jan. 8, 2010, Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) offers his support for an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant application submitted on behalf of the New Oxford Municipal Authority (NOMA) of Adams County, Pa.

Other GOP Oversight and Government Reform members who submitted letters to DOE for green energy projects were Reps. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Blake Farenthold (Texas), Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Connie Mack (Fla.), Patrick McHenry (N.C.) and John Mica (Fla.).

Over and over again, Republicans have sought funds through the stimulus package for green jobs in their states. But don’t expect them to talk about those solicitations at today’s hearing.

6 Responses to Before Calling Green Jobs “Propaganda,” House Republicans Requested Millions to Create a “Green Collar” Workforce

  1. Dill Weed says:

    It looks like that guy in the photo just smelled the cheese.

  2. Jeff Huggins says:

    May I Make An Observation?

    Although I appreciate information, being in-the-know, being up-to-speed, and the like, I’m starting to have a reaction to something in the political sphere, in the mainstream media, AND HERE that’s frustrating.

    More and more of the coverage, it seems (including here), seems to be about the ignorant or ill-motivated “other side” — the folks who don’t get it and who we’re supposed to fear.

    There is a quickly emerging theme these days, noted in some writing on some blogs, along these lines: “Be afraid, be afraid, be very afraid of those other folks — the ignorant or ill-motivated ones who don’t get it — and let’s FOCUS on them too (rather than focusing on what WE need to do differently). And whatever you do, vote for President Obama again (this is implied) so that the folks we’re supposed to fear don’t get into office. Forget about the fact that we’re getting nowhere with President Obama except demotivated, and forget about the fact that the reason we’re getting nowhere with him has a very great deal to do with his own actions and inaction. Let’s ignore all that. What you — the reader — should do is become distracted by incessant coverage of the bad guys.”

    The President is focusing more and more on the bad guys, and he’s gearing up to make them the reason why voters should vote for him again. (So much for a real platform, strong action, verve, clarity, and genuinely justified hope.) The media do the same thing. And now I’m seeing more and more of it here, at CP.

    From the standpoint of the mix of coverage offered here, are we going to get more and more and more of the “look what those idiots are saying and doing now” type of coverage, about the other side, or are we going to see more and more things that help us understand the choices WE face, what WE CAN and perhaps NEED TO do in order to get our own act together, and so forth?

    For goodness sake, I’m seeing post after post about such things like Murdoch’s hypocrisy or some ridiculous new stance on the part of Republican politician X, Y, or Z; but I haven’t seen any posts yet that actually pose important choices that WE face clearly, straightforwardly, directly.

    So what do we have as a next step movement-wise? Moving Planet? And what is the best and perhaps only reason that voters should consider voting for President Obama again? So that Perry isn’t elected? Oh my gosh. It seems to me that we have to change the entire narrative.

    I would like to see some coverage of Moving Planet, before during and after Moving Planet. Some genuine assessments, please! I would also like to see us face squarely, and consider, the options we have to compel President Obama to say “no” to Keystone XL. One is to tell him this: “President Obama, if you want my vote next time around, you must say ‘no’ to Keystone XL. If you approve Keystone XL, I will not vote for you. Period.”

    These are concrete topics — positive and action-oriented things — that we should be reading, discussing, considering. (I’ve offered a guest post on one of them, but if that post is too long, not eloquent enough, or whatever, that’s perfectly fine: in that case, have someone else write one. The important thing is that we should be raising, and considering, real questions like that.)

    Shouldn’t we be talking more about “our” progress or lack of it; our leaders and lack of leaders; our approaches and strategies and tactics; our options; and so forth?

    One could fill a whole blog, and a whole newspaper, and a whole media, and a whole year, with articles about the idiotic views and policies and hypocrisies coming from many of the politicians on the right? But where will that get us? Nowhere. Demotivated. Idea-less.

    Anyhow, you get the picture. Sorry for grumpiness.

    Be Well,


  3. Joe Romm says:

    I don’t agree with your analysis in the least bit. It seems like you have a certain kind of amnesia both for what have been the basis of politics from eons ago and for what gets posted here.

    We blog regularly here on the alternatives, the policies we should adopt, grassroots movements, and the like. Has any major climate blog covered the Keystone Pipeline and the protests as much as this one? Seriously.

    I’m not going to tell people how to vote for president. You haven’t offered any plausible alternative, that’s for certain.

    I must say I don’t get the picture you are describing in the least bit.

    We aren’t going to take any action anytime soon thanks to the forces that you don’t want people writing about. There is a very real chance that we could end up with an anti-science president, House, and Senate. That’s the story of the year.

  4. Dill Weed says:


    You’re right on the money. It’s clear to me even though he has not done as much as we would like, Obama is the best choice.

    Like you, I have stopped reading articles about what some republican or denier has said. People are going to say what they are going to say.

    What matters is what we do. Just as an aside, I used to read Real Climate for the science and still do when the most recent comes out and I check here for that too. political bickering never solved anything.

    Back to what I said before. People are doing incredible things! I’ve had to go search them out and they are inspiring. The political stuff makes me feel hopeless and depressed, but hearing about achievements and progress that’s where it’s at. Take a look.

    Despite doubters and naysayers, the transition to renewable is happening now. Progress is remarkable. We are approaching a sea change. Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
    America is a 1.9 Billion Exporter of Solar Products.
    Check out these inspiring videos. They show a successful transition underway. One you wouldn’t believe is happening if you listened to doubters and naysayers.
    Watch be informed and inspired.
    Hermann Scheer on the Big mistake in the Energy Debate 1-3 – YouTube
    German FIT explained

    Energy Autonomy
    The Sustainable Star – Germany
    The Status of Concentrating Solar Power Development
    China’s Influence on Solar Energy
    Sao Palo Success
    First CO2-free island

    I find Hermann Scheer to be the clearest voice on renewable energy.

  5. Jeff Huggins says:

    Joe, thanks for your comment, but I think you misunderstood and misunderstand me, at least apparently. My point is not that you (or CP, or ThinkProgress) should tell people who to vote for, for President. Instead, it’s that (in my view) CP should allow people to consider points-of-view and related arguments having to do with major choices that we DO face. It should allow the issues and arguments to be AIRED, at least those on clearly important questions. Here, in your recent comment (above), you say that you don’t agree with my analysis in the least bit. But one thing we can both agree on, I should think, is the fact that only you know what that “analysis” is, and CP’s readers don’t, and that (as far as I can tell) CP hasn’t hosted any clear post to raise that discussion and debate. The issue (and it’s a central one) hasn’t been “aired” and discussed, pros and cons. The argument hasn’t been had. In my view, that very fact is part of the problem.

    Of course, CP is your venue — and it’s a great and helpful one — so whether or not the question is aired and discussed, and debated, clearly and openly, is up to you, as it should be. Perhaps in your view it’s not an important question? I’ve already said that, if my proposed post is too long or isn’t eloquent enough, then (please do) have someone else raise the question and present the debate on both sides — as long as they present the arguments, of course, without leaving key ones out.

    I have not forgotten, and I do appreciate, all the coverage of the Keystone XL issue. But I should think that you’d agree (unless you think the question I’m raising isn’t an important one) that a deeply missing aspect of the coverage of the Keystone XL issue and of President Obama in relation to that issue, is that nobody is seriously, clearly, transparently, and logically airing the particular question I’m talking about. We seem to be in denial about the relevance and import of THAT question, it seems to me; or at least explicit discussion of it is missing from CP.

    And I’m not the only one — not by a long shot — that is taking a hard stand (on this issue) with President Obama and thinks that more and more people should. Again, nobody is suggesting that you or anyone else should “tell” people how to vote. The suggestion is that the issue — the question — that I raise in my post should be aired, and the sides of the argument presented, so that people can consider matters and decide for themselves.

    I hope that is clear enough. I do appreciate your great work and CP, but it’s rather clear that this particular question isn’t being faced as explicitly as it could be and (in my view) should be.

    Thanks for your comment, however, and Be Well,


  6. Pangolin` says:

    If you’re going to put a house fire out the first step might be to stop the crew hosing the place down with gasoline. Then you can see about working with the guys standing around the water truck.

    Just saying.