While Calling Stimulus ‘Wasteful,’ Paul Ryan Secured Millions Of Dollars In Grants For Clean Energy

When it comes to the stimulus, presumptive GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was against it before he was for it.

Or, to be more precise, he was for it at the same time he was against it.

According to documents obtained by the Boston Globe, Rep. Ryan (R-WI) lobbied the Department of Energy for tens of millions of dollars in stimulus grants for Wisconsin energy initiatives at least four times — even while calling the stimulus a “wasteful spending spree.”

The Globe reports:

“This trillion dollar spending bill misses the mark on all counts,” said Ryan in a statement from his office. “This is not a crisis we can spend and borrow our way out of – that is how we got here in the first place.”

But later that year, once the bill was passed and signed into law, Ryan sought to make sure his constituents benefited.

On October 5, 2009, he wrote a letter to Chu on behalf of the nonprofit Energy Center of Wisconsin, which was applying for a grant under the Recovery Act’s Geothermal Technologies Program.

Under the grant program the center received a total of $240,000, according to its president, Frank Greb.

The same day Ryan sent another letter advocating for a grant application, in which the Energy Center partnered with Milwaukee Area Technical College, for training building technicians and operators in energy-saving techniques. For that program, the government provided $740,364, according to federal records.

But the biggest payoff came for the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation. Ryan predicted the $20 million grant would be able to “create or retain approximately 7,600 new jobs over the three-year grant period and the subsequent three years.”

Yet in an interview with MSNBC two years later, Ryan again bashed the stimulus package.

Ryan is best known for his role as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He’s well liked within the Tea Party for his strong rhetoric on slashing federal spending (cutting everything except the military and fossil fuel subsidies) — a key reason why he was chosen by the Romney campaign.

However, according to the documents, Ryan requested millions of dollars for a variety of programs under the stimulus package, including $5.4 million for bus services and tens of millions of dollars for renewable energy and efficiency programs.

Ryan joins at least 62 Congressional Republicans who have actively lobbied the government for loan guarantees and grants for clean energy companies in their districts — even while many of them have publicly criticized the stimulus program that provided a boost to local companies and organizations around the country. According to the Department of Energy, the loan guarantee programs created or saved over 60,000 jobs and the 1603 grant program supported up to 75,000 jobs, stimulating tens of billions of dollars in private-sector activity.

And this is where these stories of hypocritical behavior around clean energy get tricky. It’s a great thing that Republicans once supported this industry. Assuming the dollars go toward good projects, we should resoundingly support conservatives who want to build their local economies through clean energy.

But the Republican party has made a choice to aggressively target clean energy this election cycle, spending millions of dollars on false claims about the industry that fact checkers call “ridiculous.” In addition, Paul Ryan is pushing a proposed federal budget that slashes the Department of Energy’s renewable energy program by 57 percent, put the breaks on incentives for advanced clean technology manufacturing, and retains $38.6 billion in tax credits for the oil and gas sector.

Joshua Freed, vice president for clean energy at Third Way, told the Globe that Ryan’s budget “waves a white flag on competing in energy technology” by defunding crucial clean energy programs at a time when every other country sees the sector as vital to competitiveness.

Like many in his party, Ryan is partially betting his political future on being against clean energy this election cycle. Unless, of course, he can get money for his own district.

15 Responses to While Calling Stimulus ‘Wasteful,’ Paul Ryan Secured Millions Of Dollars In Grants For Clean Energy

  1. Chris says:

    I’m confused, should I like him a little bit now?

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Obama should ask the R Ticket to buckle up / All-Hands-On-The-Deck to combat climate change. If they don’t they are part of the problem and need to move, because of National Security implications.

  3. lizardo says:

    Er, it doesn’t seem you are joking. I don’t understand why you are confused, or why you would like a Congressman (let alone VP nominee) who bashed and continues to bash a useful and beneficial program, while quietly boosting his own political standing from those same tax dollars.

    I’ve noticed this hypocrisy at the congressional level because getting jobs and funding for your district is a time-honored re-election strategy.

    On the other hand, refusing to apply for, or not accepting funding for your area as part of grants or funding already approved at the federal level… that’s something I hear from county level GOP, and the rationale is always that the local level will be stuck with cost down the line.

  4. Scrooge says:

    Quayle, Kemp, Cheney, Palin, Ryan. I don’t remember much about Kemp other than football but I’m surprised at how shallow the GOP pool is. I know they drum out anyone who questions their party but the tent sure seems small.

  5. buckeyewill says:

    Just like his idol Ayn Rand. Criticize Government money, then take it.

  6. Mike Irwin says:

    Wait a minute. He takes in political contributions from the oil industry, but, asks for stimulus money for clean energy?!? Do his puppetmasters, the Koch Brothers, know this. What a hypocrite!

  7. Jackie says:

    Front page news and outspoken outrage about the Stimulus Plan that even President Reagan used. But Americans were convinced hate Obama. Well each Republican secretly took the money to their State with smiles and photo ops calling it their idea. And people believed the lie. The best actor was SC Grovernor Sanford who held out continuing his attack on President Obama. Sanford rushed to DC just before the deadline and asked for his State’s money. But voters like the GOP playing them for idiots because it works so well. Soldiers asked Obama to get Bin Laden as Law Makers and Americans moved on and could careless. Shocker the President caught Bin Laden and Law Makers then said no Bush did it then Romney said he would have done it. Well as the troops cheered the voters said no big deal. Congress including Paul Ryan stuck to the plan to do nothing to help with Jobs or recovery and now the blame goes to the President because Americans didn’t know it was Congress’s job to vote bills/and send it to the President for Law. As long as the Tea Party continues the spread of hate and racism and Americans follow he lunatics our counry will continue to fall. More attacks on Muslims and other that idiots think are Muslims. Much like they did in the 40’s 50’s when blacks were taken off the streets and killed for entertainment.

  8. Crease says:

    What a sham this guy is sucking from the gov’t and at the same time wanting those who need gov’t help to stop sucking off it because they are a cancer as he and Becky Boy call[ed] progressives.The man is a typical spend like a drunken sailor republican who the Tbaggers of all people are in bed with, am I making sense here?Don’t you conservatives feel foolish especially you T Party members?I love to hear from you on TP.

  9. ZoeyKay says:

    That was pretty typical of the GOP. They all bashed the stimulus package, but all also had their handouts for the money, and as Obama mentioned, were at all the ribbon-cutting ceremonies for projects funded with stimulus money.

    It’s the same with jobs – they want to know “where are the jobs”, but they won’t let the President’s jobs bills come up for a vote, while all the cutting they’re forcing in government spending is causing job losses in the public sector.

    Bless their hearts.

  10. Tami Kennedy says:

    A few words. Hypocrite… Two-faced… Romney trainee. Etch-a-sketch.

  11. JFM says:

    A lot like this very wealthy boy taking the government’s money (Social Security after his father’s early death) and paying for his college with it. He obviously did not need the money, and now he wants to make sure no one else gets what he got: government help.

    In addition to killing social security he wants to kill Pell Grants to make absolutely certain that no one from the lower economic classes has a chance in life.


  12. Jo says:

    Well, at least Ryan and Romney are in sync on that hypocrisy thing.

  13. facts lean left says:

    the perfect Rmoney pick: a mirror image of hypocrisy, lies, flip-flopping, thievery, sociopathy and treason. Two rotten peas in a diseased pod.

  14. Buddy says:

    Good Man Paul,

    If you can’t stop the insane spending, then make sure you district get’s it’s share

  15. Gerald Einem says:

    Make the connection:The Ryan family sells oil/gas from their land to big durty energy companies (including Exon Mobile),while in his budget,passed by the House, he decreases clean energy substites and hands out billions to wealthy oil corperations.