From Congressman Eric Massa:, representing New York’s 29th District
February 15, 2010
President Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500-0005
Dear Mr. President:
In recent months, I have learned of some very troubling news regarding the use of stimulus funds for supporting wind industry jobs abroad. I do not believe this use of U.S. taxpayer dollars is in accordance with the purposes of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and I request that your Administration refrain from giving any awards to wind companies tunneling money to foreign corporations. Sending money abroad to support jobs in other countries while continuing to ignore problems facing the American wind industry is simply bad policy.
To date, I do not believe the use of stimulus funds to support wind projects in the U.S. has met the promises of substantial job creation and clean renewable energy. With these and other federal funds, we must make wise investments in the American people by weighing the job and energy creation prospects of each proposal. Quite simply, the potential benefits offered by a project should be commensurate with the size of the investment. I am not convinced that this is the case right now.
While it is true that these funds are used only to support American-based projects, the development corporations and the suppliers involved are, more often than not, headquartered outside of the U.S. This means that ultimately, a large portion of the nearly $2 billion invested in wind projects through the ARRA will go directly to supporting foreign businesses that compete with American workers. The stimulus package was meant to bolster American productivity, not hand over control of an entire industry to other countries, including China.
Instead of dumping billions of dollars into so many wind projects that support very few domestic jobs and produce limited energy benefits, while propping-up foreign industries at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, I believe your Administration should focus on addressing the underlying problems of the American wind industry. If we are to have successful American wind energy development, we must have an industry built by American workers that supply real energy to American homes and reduce our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. I believe it is necessary to slow down the wildly haphazard “progress” in wind power development which is having a destructive impact on many small communities. We need to address these and many other concerns because frankly, the current policy is not working.
As it stands now and as it has been proven by stimulus investments in wind power, our nation is dangerously reliant on foreign wind corporations. As with so many other industries, we have been surpassed by our foreign competitors in the wind sector. Even worse, now we are funding them. This is entirely wrong.
Moving forward, we must take a critical look into the American wind industry that we see today and develop comprehensive, long-term plans that address the many serious issues facing wind power in this country. The goal must be to use wise investments in this energy source to safely, responsibly, and effectively create clean energy while also establishing strong manufacturing and construction sectors that will build a truly American industry supported by American jobs.
Eric JJ. Massa Member of Congress
Cc: Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy