The Washington Post reports that nine months after Congress passed the $787 billion stimulus package, the $25 billion included in the bill for energy-efficiency projects has yet to yield those oft promised “green” jobs. The article highlights how some states are using the federal dollars:
- New York has received $394 million, but it produced only 43 jobs there by early October.
- Michigan has only been able to spend $3 million of the $243 million it received.
- Indiana had weatherized 82 homes out of its three-year goal of 25,000, and reported zero new jobs from the spending.
- Virginia has allocated $33 million of its $94 million from the program, but the work has ramped up so gradually that crews doing the work have mostly made do with existing employees. The state has yet to finalize an agreement with community colleges to train new workers.
- In Maryland, state officials estimate that about 100 jobs have been created so far. Many of the other training slots have been filled by already-employed construction workers whose firms are seeking weatherization work.
The Post also reports that many states are using their grants not for job creation but to “commission audits of their energy usage and develop plans for how to proceed.” And in what can only be an unintentionally hilarious section of the story, the reporter states that some of the hurdles that have sprung up are due to entanglements involving “bureaucratic disputes over federal wage requirements, historic preservation rules and environmental regulations.” Ahhh…Karma.