President Barack Obama’s “green jobs” initiatives suffered another major blow late Monday, as the nonprofit National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado, announced a plan to lay off roughly 10 percent of its staff through a voluntary buy-out plan.
According to the Denver Post, the lab plans to eliminate between 100 and 150 of its 1,350 . The Obama administration supported the NREL in 2009 with roughly $200 million in stimulus grants. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu visited Golden in May 2009 to promote the NREL as a beneficiary of those funds.
At the time, the Associated Press reported that the stimulus grants included $68 million to build demonstration model of an energy-efficient office building; $19.2 million for solar, geothermal and fuel cell equipment; $10 million for testing and evaluation of wind technology; and $45 million to research and test drive-train systems for wind turbines.
The lab’s mission is to handle U.S. Department of Energy research and development programs.
NREL spokesman Bob Noun blames Congress for the organization’s failures. The Denver Post reports that he believes the gridlocked U.S. Congress forced the NREL to find $8 million in new budgetary savings.
Only history will tell whether "green" energy has a future (I know, nice ironic phrasing). But one thing is beginning to emerge as fact-- that future is not here yet. Green technology is simply not well-enough developed to subsititute for traditional sources of energy.
The federal government should not be picking winners and losers in technology--while green energy should be allowed to develop, if it can, so should tradfitional oil and gas resoruces--of which the United States has plenty and which are presently being restricted by regulation. One exception is North Dakota, which has somehow escaped this Administration's antipathy toward oil and gas developmen--and which recent press reports suggest is booming economically from drilling.