It’s no secret that by funding various "green" energy initiatives with taxpayer money, the Department of Energy (DOE) has engulfed itself in a cloud of scandal. What with the magnificent and expensive failures of Ener1, Energy Conversion Devices, Solyndra, Solar Trust, Mountain Plaza Inc., Fisker Auto, etc., etc., the DOE, under the guidance of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, has been making quite a name for itself -- and not a very good one.
So rather than dial back some of its activities, cut losses, and perform a post mortem on failed taxpayer-backed projects, the DOE is rushing forward and investing $5 million into “the construction of a 'biogas anaerobic digester' that will use cow manure to heat an ethanol plant and create 15 permanent jobs,” the Washington Examiner’s Joel Gerhke reports.
Western Plains Energy, LLC, a Kansas company, will use the money to "utilize waste energy resources from a local cattle feedlot to replace almost 90 percent of the fossil fuels currently used" at the plant, he adds.
And although the above sentence dresses it up a little, it's what it sounds like: the Obama administration is investing $5 million so that cow manure can be converted into energy.
"Projects such as this are a key part of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above approach to American energy that is supporting the development and usage of renewable energy, revitalizing rural economies and creating an America built to last," USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.
"Animal waste from a local feedlot will be the primary feedstock that Western Plains will use for the digester," USDA added. "Support for renewable energy projects such as these is an example of the many ways USDA is helping revitalize rural economies."
But here’s the kicker: the USDA expects the project will only create 15 permanent jobs and 100 temporary construction jobs.
Fifteen permanent jobs? You realize what that means, right? That's about $330,000 per job. Great investment?
“We only wish this was a joke,” Zero Hedge writes, summing up the sentiments of pretty much everyone who read the Examiner article.