Republicans have bullied the clean energy industry for months, pointing to flimsy evidence for why the government should slash funding for the industry, even as Big Oil subsidies continue.
On the heels of passing legislation that slashes clean energy funding 13 times, House Republicans are fulfilling the oil and coal industry’s wish list with next week’s Domestic Energy Production Act.
Although clean energy creates hundreds of thousands of better paying jobs, Republicans looking to gain ground in an election year have disparaged these jobs as less valuable. Mitt Romney’s former economic adviser said as much: “I am buying that they’re rooting against the economy somewhat because they think that the short-term pain of, you know, the next four months is much better than having additional four years of pain under Obama.”
Republicans have made green jobs a political target, at the behest of their oil and coal allies:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the 1603 tax credit reimbursement program is a “Solyndra-style stimulus program.” This program has created thousands of jobs, 5,000 projects, and helped the industry grow during tough times. “Listen, the American people continue to ask the question, ‘Where are the jobs?’ They deserve answers, and they deserve the truth.”
House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa called green jobs “propaganda” in a recent staff report. Issa also recently released a video making fun of the BLS’s broad definition for green jobs, calling them “groovy.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): “This is the no-more-Solyndras amendment,” speaking on his amendment that would ban a loan guarantee program for renewables, even though the program itself has expired.
Jordan labelled green investments wasted dollars: “The president said that we will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And he promised that our country would create millions of green jobs which would help us compete in the global economy. Over three years into this gamble, available evidence demonstrates these efforts have wasted vast sums of taxpayer money and have failed to achieve the stated goals.”
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) at a Feb. 19 news conference: “There’s a fundamental difference in approach. And this is the challenge that faces us. The reason our economy is stagnant is because we haven’t let the free market work. The government keeps getting in the way. Now is the time to pick the Keystone economy over the Solyndra economy, to pick the American people over big government and to pick prosperity over stagnation.”
Mitt Romney: [Obama] said he was going to create some 5 million green energy jobs. Have you seen those around here anywhere? No, as a matter of fact he’s gone after energy.
Romney says the Chevy Volt, is an “idea whose time has not come,” saying, “I’m not sure America was ready for the Chevy Volt.”
While Republicans call for a “free energy market” devoid of subsidies to clean energy, they continue to support hundred-year-old subsidies for oil and coal. Though the House GOP prefer to point to failures, clean energy is seeing historic levels of investment — reaching $257 billion worldwide — helped by public-private investments in the industry.