The Obama administration is crediting its anti-recession stimulus plan with creating up to 50,000 jobs on dozens of wind farms, even though many of those wind farms were built before the stimulus money began to flow or even before President Barack Obama was inaugurated.
Out of 70 major wind farms that received the $4.4 billion in federal energy grants through the stimulus program, public records show that 11, which received a total of $600 million, erected their wind towers during the Bush administration. And a total of 19 wind farms, which received $1.3 billion, were built before any of the stimulus money was distributed. ( See a list of the projects here.)
Yet all the jobs at these wind farms are counted in the administration’s figures for jobs created by the stimulus.
Note that this story comes from the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University. As someone who possesses a journalism degree, I am generally of the opinion that such degrees are often worthless, but this is some quality journalism coming from college students.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: The Investigative Reporting workshop informs me that they’re not actually college students, but rather a new center for professional nonprofit journalism. Check out their website, they’re doing some great stuff tracking stimulus grants for renewable energy.