Where are the 2.5 million “green” jobs Mr. President?
It appears now that they are not only a fabrication, but even the alleged 87,000 jobs to be created by $16 billion in Stimulus weatherization funds are nearly nowhere to be found, unless one looks to more government jobs. Liberal mayors helped champion this scam on the American people, and they too should be called into account. (These must be the same kinds of mayors who have led American cities into poverty? Perhaps it’s time to plan the next TEA party wave?)
Not only has this weatherization boondoggle fallen far short of its goal to weatherize one million homes per year, it is now reportedly in the President’s own home-state of Illinois, causing more harm to inhabitants and doing less, yes less, to curb energy loss. Consider this bit regarding Illinois from the latest report of the U.S. Energy Department’s inspector general:
Substandard weatherization work can pose health and safety risks to occupants,” the audit said. “Payment of excessive materials costs to contractors reduces the amount of funding available to weatherize homes … and reduces the amount of funding for direct job creation.
In 15 weatherized homes visited, auditors found 14 would not pass safety inspections because of poor work quality. Twelve of the homes had “substandard work that could have, in some cases, resulted in significant property damage or injury to the homeowners,” the report said, such as a kitchen exhaust vented to the attic that auditors said posed a fire hazard.
It get’s worse:
…officials also found instances where a furnace had not been vented properly; a shut-off valve had not been installed on a gas stove; and, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers had not been installed as planned. In one home, a contractor had been paid for removing siding to insert insulation, but the contractor had actually taken a short cut, drilling holes through the existing siding. A July 2010 State monitoring report cited a significant number of gas leaks in single-family homes weatherized by CEDA contractors. State officials reported that the number of gas leaks verified during the monitoring review was “alarming.”
This all has been made public by the DOE nearly a year ago. A full DOE IG report on the Weatherization Assistance Program from February 2010 can be found here. Further audits are being conducted currently in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Along with OIG, I am concerned that the Department of Energy and state WAPs are failing to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in the massive amounts of taxpayer dollars spent on weatherization projects. On September 16, 2010, in response to my previous concerns about a lack of oversight of stimulus spending, your Department assured me that “the Weatherization program has turned the corner,” and “made great strides” in reducing fraud, waste, and abuse. In light of this report, it is clear that the Department’s efforts have been inadequate. It is critical that the Department take immediate steps to ensure that the Illinois experience is an exception, rather than the rule. We owe no less to American taxpayers.
This is what happens when you live and breathe in a SimWorld. And these were considered the “best”, most ready shovel ready stimulus jobs. Too bad even the Blue Dogs didn’t heed Michelle Malkin’s job-killer warning eighteen months ago.