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.