Photo via Washington Post
Ever since Obama's stimulus bill was first announced, false rumors an melodramatic criticism (Bobby Jindal and his made-up train to Disneyland, anyone?) have spread like wildfire--and they haven't let up yet. Opponents of the presidents' agenda seem to have made a hobby of finding a project that could potentially sound funny to the public, and declared it as 'wasteful.' You're probably familiar with the drill. Well, the White House has just hit back, cleared up some of the top myths about the stimulus bill . . .G. Edward DeSeve--the Special Advisor to the President and Special Advisor to the OMB Director for Implementation of the Recovery Act--posted a piece called 10 Recovery Act Myths to the official White House blog today. It explains the myths behind some stimulus projects, and breaks down what's really going on. An impressive 7 of those are related to green projects--showing either a) just what a huge bulk of stimulus money went to green initiatives or b) how paranoid people are of environmentalism and green jobs.
7 Green Stimulus Myths Debunked
- 1. Recovery Act funds are being used to renovate a Lancaster County train station that hasn't been used in 30 years. Actually, more than 80,000 passengers use the Elizabethtown station every year, a number which has increased approximately 90 percent in just five years. This station sits along an important transit line in Eastern Pennsylvania between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and renovations will help the continued growth in business development and improving the quality of life for residents of this rapidly growing area.
- 2. Recovery Act funds are being used for a snow-making facility in Duluth, Minnesota. Proposed as a potential project before the Recovery Act was even signed into law, this Duluth project was never approved, and no Recovery Act funds were directed to this proposed project.
- 4. Recovery Act funds are being used by the U.S. Forest Service to breed and do research on bugs in Connecticut. Yes, these funds are being used by the USFS - but to renovate and improve Connecticut research facilities to allow them to better respond to the need for more research into invasive species that are devastating our forests. These invasive species, such as gypsy moths and wooly adelgids, are causing damage to both our parks and our natural resources, and research into potential methods of control is definitely not a wasteful use of resources.
- 5. Recovery Act funds are being used to purchase a freezer for fish sperm at the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, in South Dakota. Actually, no Recovery Act funds are being used for this project.
- 6. Recovery Act funds are being used to weatherize eight pickup trucks in Illinois. No - once again, there are no Recovery Act funds being used for this purpose.
- 7. Recovery Act funds are being used to purchase 22 toilets for use in the Mark Twain National Forest. Actually, the funds are being used to purchase 22 complete, prefabricated restroom buildings for the National Forest - and include site preparation and installation. At $21,000 per building installed, this is a reasonable cost and provides construction jobs in this area.
- 10. Recovery Act funds are being to provide a tax credit for golf carts. Some reports have highlighted an IRS tax credit for plug-in vehicles as a frivolous use of recovery resources. In fact, the legislation that provides this tax break was signed into law by the former President, and the Recovery Act terminates this credit at the end of 2009 - rather than at the end of 2014 as the law was originally designed.
You can find the full list of all 10 Recovery Myths at the White House Blog.
More on Obama's Green Stimulus Bill
Keep Tabs on the Green Projects in the Stimulus Bill
Guide to the Green Projects in Obama's Economic Stimulus Bill
View and Vote - Obama Green Stimulus Projects : Planet Green