A GOP congressman warned that President Joe Biden‘s multi-trillion dollar infrastructure plan closely resembled the Obama administration’s “green energy” boondoggles, such as the failed investment in Solyndra and the “Cash for Clunkers” program.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, released a report about Biden’s proposed green energy policies called “The Solyndra Syndrome & the Green Stimulus Delusion,” according to a press release.
Biden’s plan is “a recipe for disaster,” Barasso said.
“Americans have seen the failures of these ideas before,” he wrote. “In 2009, then-Vice President Biden was the one to announce that Solyndra would receive hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. We know how that ended. Now, the Solyndra syndrome is back.”
The solar-energy startup went bankrupt shortly after receiving a $527 million kickback from Democrats’ then-astronomical bailout bills, which were intended to promote “shovel-ready” projects in the wake of the 2008 economic crash.
Another of the package’s expensive failures involved job training.
Two years into the so-called recovery from the Great Recession, Obama’s green-jobs training program, which cost $500 million, had placed 10% of its target number of workers into related fields. Only 2% of the employees were retained.
Obama’s own Department of Labor concluded in a report that “there is no evidence that grantees will effectively use the funds and deliver targeted employment outcomes by the end of the grant periods.”
Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program received negative reviews, too.
It cost taxpayers $3 billion to give new car purchasers a $4,500 subsidy. Except that the program did not actually get people to buy more cars than they otherwise would have.
The National Bureau of Economic Research found that “almost all of the additional purchases under the program were pulled forward from the very near future; the effect of the program on auto purchases is almost completely reversed by as early as March 2010 only seven months after the program ended.”
The study also found “no evidence of an effect on employment” or the economy in general.
Nonetheless, Biden, like his former boss, will spend billions on green jobs training—along with another Cash for Clunkers program, high-speed rail projects, and subsidies for well-connected companies with Washington lobbyists.
“This report shows President Biden is doubling down on failure,” Barrasso said.
“President Biden wants to bet trillions more on new boondoggles and another failed ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program,” he continued. “As with the failed stimulus, President Biden’s spending spree will take money from the people and give it to his political allies.”
Past evidence suggests that the high-speed rail and other subsidized projects, which Biden plans to double-down on to enrich his donors, are also likely to founder under the weight of bureaucratic red tape.
After nearly a decade of work, California’s Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom abandoned most of the state’s bullet-train project, originally intended to link San Francisco to Los Angeles but instead leaving taxpayers on the hook for $3.5 billion with minimal results.
“Whether it’s called the Green New Deal, Build Back Better, or ‘The American Jobs Plan,’ the Biden administration seems determined to repeat the same mistakes, while expecting different results,” Barrasso’s report said.
As Biden pushes costly and inefficient green energy programs, he is actively undermining cheap and efficient gas and oil production.
Within days of taking office, he killed the Keystone XL pipeline and at least 11,000 jobs along with it. By rescinding the line’s permit, Biden has benefited millionaire investors and foreign oil producers, like Russia and Iran.
Biden has also directed federal regulators to halt new permits for gas and oil extraction on federal lands, effectively killing the industry in the Western United States.
Obama did not target gas and oil production as viciously as Biden already has. Four years after the Great Recession in 2008-09, the industry’s employment had increased by 16%.