The Obama administration spent $10 billion to create 355 renewable energy jobs per year, according to testimony offered Tuesday before Congress by a Congressional Research Services expert.
Asked by Rep. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) "how many jobs were created" in 2009 and 2010 under the 1603 renewable energy grant program authorized by the Obama administration, a CRS specialist in public finance admitted that $10 billion was spent to create 3,666 construction jobs over a two-year period–and only 355 jobs per year going forward.
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Dr. Molly Sherlock, the CRS specialist, first said the jobs total would depend on the type of job–and differentiated between "induced," "direct," and "indirect" jobs–before Gardner asked for a straight number.
"I just want to know how many jobs were created," Gardner said during the hearing.
"If you’re looking at the direct jobs, this one estimate has direct jobs created at 3,666 in the construction phase, and direct jobs created at 355," Sherlock said. "Direct jobs would just be the construction jobs and the ongoing operations and maintenance jobs. But if you wanted to look at the supporting jobs in other industries then you’d want to look at the other figures."
"So for direct jobs—just if we look at the first year, this is average jobs per year, it’s 355 jobs per year—in two years, 355 jobs created a year, $10 billion?" Gardner asked.
"That would be jobs per year going forward," Sherlock responded, "so these would be jobs that would be retained, average jobs per year going forward, yes."
"For $10 billion?" Gardner clarified.
"Yes," Sherlock said.
The Department of Energy defended the 1603 grant program in a statement to the Free Beacon.
"The highly successful 1603 tax program has played a critical role in the dramatic expansion of America's renewable energy industry over the past three years – supporting more than 30,000 renewable energy projects, leveraging more than $25 billion in private sector investments and creating tens of thousands of jobs in installation, construction and operation, as well as up and down the manufacturing supply chain," said DOE spokesperson Jen Stutsman. "This program has helped to build infrastructure that will spur economic development and job creation in the country over the long-term and ensure the United States can compete in the global clean energy economy."