Four Democratic U.S. senators have asked the Obama administration to stop investment in wind power and other renewable energy projects until the government ensures that the projects primarily use U.S. labor and materials.
The senators, led by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, introduced legislation requiring that economic stimulus funds only be spent on clean-energy projects that use materials made in the United States and that create a majority of jobs in America.
The four senators also asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to apply the so-called “Buy America” provision to all future energy projects funded under the Obama administration’s economic stimulus program.
The senators are attempting to require “Buy America” provisions after learning that 75 percent of the $2 billion spent on wind energy projects supported by the stimulus program reportedly went to foreign companies.
Schumer said that a $1.5 billion West Texas wind project using Chinese-built turbines would create 3,000 jobs in China and only 300 in the United States.
But the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group, harshly criticized the senators’ actions, saying that invoking the “Buy America” provision would “torpedo one of the most successful job creation efforts of the Recovery Act” by driving away foreign investment in U.S. wind farms.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.