Green Jobs Programme To Get Axed In Sequester
A controversial Bureau of Labor Statistics program that tracks U.S. green jobs will get the axe, according to Bloomberg News, because of the automatic budget cuts, called the sequester, which are set to take effect today if lawmakers can’t reach an alternative agreement.
Bloomberg reports that a Feb. 26 email sent to Labor Department employees said a clean-energy survey would be one of three data reports cut due to sequestration, according to Bloomberg’s anonymous source.
“It’s a huge loss,” said Center for American Progress senior fellow Bracken Hendricks. “This means the U.S. will be flying blind on the growth of a very, very important sector in the U.S. economy.”
“This was never a real report, but rather propaganda designed to advance a misleading political narrative,” California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “From its inception it was an abuse of taxpayer dollars and it’s unfortunate it took the sequester to make the Administration realize it.”
President Obama promised to create 5 million green jobs during the 2008 presidential campaign and included $90 billion green energy spending in the 2009 stimulus.
However, spending to create green jobs became a hot political topic after the high-profile failure of the solar company Solyndra which got a $535 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department. The company suffered financial troubles and filed for bankruptcy in August 2011, laying off 1,100 workers.
Another company, Abound Solar, got a $400 million Energy Department loan guarantee. Abound went bankrupt and shed 280 employees after taking $70 million of the loan guarantee.