The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (i.e. the stimulus) funneled billions of taxpayer dollars into “green energy” initiatives for federal agencies, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
157 of nearly 700 renewable “green energy” initiatives in 2010 were either “created by the stimulus law, received expanded funding or were modified under it,” according to Christopher Goins of CNS News.
“Agencies’ renewable energy efforts increased in recent years as a result of the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and other factors,” the GAO reports
A full 20 programs were created under the Recovery Act, while an additional 106 initiatives that existed before the stimulus received additional funding for “green” energy. Moreover, 26 programs were expanded under the stimulus law.
“An overwhelming number of renewable energy initiatives supported bioenergy, solar, and wind energy -- with 398 bioenergy initiatives, 345 solar initiatives, and 296 wind initiatives being supported government-wide,” Goins reports.
Here are some other initiatives created by the Recovery Act:
- The Recovery Act Wood to Energy Biomass Activity initiative, a Department of Agriculture project
- The Green Retrofit Program for Multifamily Housing, a Department of Housing and Urban Development project
- The Solar Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, a Department of the Interior Intitiative
- Green Capacity Building grants, a Department of Labor initiative
- And the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit, a U.S. Treasury Department initiative.
The GAO report does not include the cost-per-program.
“The government’s top energy research body, the Energy Information Administration [EIA], estimated that for fiscal year 2010, federal subsidies for renewable energy sources totaled approximately $14.7 billion, including $8.2 billion in tax expenditures,” Goins writes.
“The GAO report says that amount is a substantial increase from EIA’s estimate from fiscal year 2007, which was $5.1 billion, adding that much of the increase was due to the stimulus law,” he adds.
The Recovery Act provided an estimated $6.2 billion of the $14.7 billion in subsidies in 2010, according to the GAO. The GAO also cites an estimate from the EIA that claims total federal subsidies for "renewable sources" from 2002-2008 was $29 billion.