Back in November 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama vowed: "We'll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new green jobs that pay well."
Going on four years later, "Obama seems incapable of keeping this promise," nationally syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock writes in an analysis published by National Review Online.
The Department of Energy's website boasts that three "clean energy" initiatives loaned $34.7 billion and created "nearly 60,000" jobs. It does not point out that each of these jobs therefore cost taxpayers $578,333.
Murdock cites figures showing that private employers pay workers on average $62,757 a year in wages and benefits. So Obama is "creating jobs" at 922 percent of the private sector's cost of employing workers for a year, says Murdock, a media fellow with the Hoover Institute on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. He also notes that the Obama administration has subsidized at least 10 "green" companies that went bust.
The most publicized of these failures was Solyndra, a solar-panel maker that received $535 million in loan guarantees before filing for bankruptcy in August 2011.
Murdock pointed to 10 failures, including:
Panel maker Abound Solar ate up $70 million of its $400 million Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee and filed for Chapter 7 liquidation on July 2.
Solar Trust planned on building the world's largest solar-power plant, and the DOE offered a $2.1 billion loan guarantee provided the firm raised private capital. Solar Trust filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 2.
Enerl, an electric car battery company, got a $118.5 million DOE stimulus grant in August 2009 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 26.
Energy Conversion Devices, a solar-laminate supplier, received a $13.3 million stimulus tax credit to update its Michigan factory and hire some 600 people. It filed for bankruptcy in February.
Raser Technologies received a $33 million stimulus grant to develop a geothermal plant in Utah. Raser declared bankruptcy in April 2011.
The 10 failed projects alone cost $3.4 billion in taxpayer funds and commitments, according to Murdock, who concludes: "Rather than slam Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital” which deployed private capital behind Staples, Sports Authority, and other still-thriving corporations” President Obama should beg taxpayers' forgiveness for pouring their hard-earned cash down at least 10 green rat holes."