A group of Democratic Senators has called on the government to halt a federal stimulus program aimed at building wind farms and other clean-energy projects. Senators Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Robert Casey Jr., D-Penn., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and Jon Tester, D-Mont., argue that too much of the money spent so far has gone to create jobs overseas. They want the program put on hold while legislation is prepared to fix the problem.
The Administration and wind-energy advocates strongly dispute the criticism, saying that most of the jobs under the Energy Department program have been created in the United States, despite the dominance of foreign manufacturers in the green-technology sector. The American Wind Energy Association said that for the first $1 billion spent on the program, 53% of the value of wind turbines and 63% of other equipment on wind farms came from the United States.
The lawmakers are focusing particular criticism at Cielo Wind Power of Austin, Texas, which has said it may apply for up to $450 million in stimulus funding for a massive wind farm that would be powered by turbines built in China. A spokesman for the Texas project called the senators' assumptions incorrect, saying that at least 70% of each turbine will be made in the United States with American steel.