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Green stimulus money goes to foreign wind energy companies

Foreigners will receive majority of the wind turbine manufacturing jobs and not Americans.
Foreigners will receive majority of the wind turbine manufacturing jobs and not Americans.
REW

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm's last state of the state address brought up some all too familiar statistics. Statistics such as, over the past decade, Michigan has lost over one million manufacturing jobs; or the fact that fifty in state manufacturing suppliers of the automotive industry have gone bankrupt.

Yes, in actuality these facts are quite depressing, but the silver lining to our state misfortunes was to turn lemons into lemonades, so to speak. The idea that just as we gave birth to the automobile industry we could also aspire to be the green manufacturing capital of the country. Boasting that Michigan is second to none in manufacturing labor, engineering and infrastructure is a legitimate argument. And with a president that is “green focused”, our hopes for this transformation is realistic with the assistance of major funds allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus package.

But recently, there has been discouraging facts revealing where our “green” stimulus money is going, and it appears that unless something is changed, our hopes could essentially be nothing but pipe dreams.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, approximately 90 percent of wind energy stimulus funds have been paid to foreign manufacturing companies. That's a staggering $900 million that should have went to American companies and workers. You may ask yourself, how’s this possible, especially when the purpose of the green stimulus money was to either create American jobs or help keep Americans employed? The answer is simple yet confusing. There are no mandates within the recovery act that stipulate green manufactured goods must be made in America. Certainly, the policy is extremely counterproductive to all Americans but especially to the state of Michigan.

A former automotive laborer, who is now taking green training classes with hopes of landing a energy job, recently reflect on this fact. He said, “Unless our representatives in D.C. comprehend the true meaning of the saying 'charity begins at home,' states such as Michigan with aspiring energy manufacturing ambitions will be hindered.”

Comments

  • GoGreen101 4 years ago

    The points made were wonderful~~ im just hoping that Michigan can open up new doors to allow the energy field to bring not only more employment, but more experience in all facets of green energy.

  • Richard McCormack 4 years ago

    What is your source for this claim -- the $900 million figure at DOE?

  • Rob Gramlich 4 years ago

    This is wrong. 100% of stimulus funds went to projects built in the US. Nothing in this economy has 100% domestic content. The wind turbines deployed last year were around 50% domestic content and US wind manufacturing is up 12 fold in four years! We're moving quickly in the right direction and if Congress would pass a national renewable standard we would have enough stability for manufacturers to open new facilities and hire even more American workers. -Rob Gramlich, American Wind Energy Association

  • TruthMan 4 years ago

    Here is the response from the American Wind Energy Association:

    We are outraged at ABC World News and American University for blatantly disregarding the facts in an attempt to smear the wind industry and spread false information about how Recovery Act money is being spent. It is our responsibility to ensure the facts about the wind industry are available and respond aggressively when our industry is attacked.
    Here are the facts:
    ? 100% of Recovery Act dollars going to the wind industry were provided as a tax credit for investment in wind projects constructed and operated in the U.S which employ Americans. To date, 48 wind projects across 23 states have been built due to the support from the Recovery Act. It was the Recovery Act funding that provided a spur in investment for these projects resulting in the continued employment of 40,000 Americans. This investment means American construction, engineering, installation, transportation, and operation and maintenance job

  • TruthMan 4 years ago

    ? Stimulus dollars are not going overseas. It is the law that recovery dollars must go to U.S. wind projects. To receive recovery dollars, wind projects must be built and brought online in the U.S. with private investments that cover the full cost of the project before one penny of recovery money leaves our Treasury. Without the stimulus, thousands of megawatts would not have been built in 2009.
    ? In fact, the recovery dollars are leveraging billions of dollars from around the world and bringing investments INTO the U.S. economy, supporting jobs here.. $10 billion of additional investments into the American economy has been publicly committed by global companies due to stimulus incentives. We are a global industry with global companies. Investments can be made in strong wind markets around the world. We need to compete for these dollars so that we can grow jobs in the U.S.
    We know there is serious concern about where our wind turbines and components are built. The w

  • TruthMan 4 years ago

    ? Stimulus dollars are not going overseas. It is the law that recovery dollars must go to U.S. wind projects. To receive recovery dollars, wind projects must be built and brought online in the U.S. with private investments that cover the full cost of the project before one penny of recovery money leaves our Treasury. Without the stimulus, thousands of megawatts would not have been built in 2009.
    ? In fact, the recovery dollars are leveraging billions of dollars from around the world and bringing investments INTO the U.S. economy, supporting jobs here.. $10 billion of additional investments into the American economy has been publicly committed by global companies due to stimulus incentives. We are a global industry with global companies. Investments can be made in strong wind markets around the world. We need to compete for these dollars so that we can grow jobs in the U.S.
    We know there is serious concern about where our wind turbines and components are built. The w

  • DSTucker 4 years ago

    Companies began applying for the grants, outlined in Section 1603 of the stimulus bill, at the end of July. The Energy Department and the Treasury Department, who are jointly administering the program, began announcing grant winners on Sept. 1.

    In the first round , $502 million was awarded with $499.9 million going to wind developers. Of that, $342.6 million went to two foreign companies – the renewable energy subsidiary of Spanish utility Iberdrola ($294.8 million) and the American subsidiary of Portugese utility EDP Renováveis ($47.7 million). On Aug. 26, six days before the first grants were given, British private equity firm Terra Firma bought Everpower Wind Holdings, one of two American companies that would receive grants on Sept. 1. The newly British-owned company received $42.2 million in cash.

    In the second round , announced Sept. 22, an additional $550 million was awarded with $464.2 million dedicated to wind. All of it went to the subsidiaries of foreign companies – Ibe

  • DSTucker 4 years ago

    Iberdrola ($250.9 million), Japanese utility Eurus Energy's American subsidiary ($91.3 million) and German utility E.on Climate and Renewables ' American subsidiary ($121.9 million).

  • DSTucker 4 years ago

    Yes, all money allocated went towards American wind farms, but you guys can not argue or disprove the fact that foreigners received more wind manufacturing jobs then Americans! Sources from Russ Choma.

  • Paul Spannuth 4 years ago

    There is a difference between manufacturing the components and building the wind turbines. It sounds like the wind farms are built in the US, but that the components are manufactured overseas. If the government is going to waste money, I prefer that they waste it all here and not have the components manufactured overseas. If I am understanding this wrong, please correct me.

  • GHGman 4 years ago

    That sounds right Paul. The stimulus money is money that taxpayers will eventually be accountable for. Therefore 100% of all monies should go to Americans. This should be common sense!!

  • Vince Lamb - Detroit Science News Examiner 4 years ago

    Welcome aboard! I'm glad to see that your first article received such an enthusiastic reception. Keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to more from you.