The resignation of Van Jones, the czar to President Obama in green issues, came at just the moment when a lot of the money that was in the stimulus plan for the environment. To date, only about $462 million has been used from a total budget of $36.7 billion allocated to the Department of Energy. A lot of people who saw the stimulus budget were frustrated because to date, so little has been used and they feel that more needs to be sent to all the environmental programs because when that happens, more jobs will occur and fundamentally, the economy will get better. Whether that is realistic or not is constantly debated by people.
Van Jones is actually the main adviser to President Obama who suggested that it would be beneficial to both agendas to put money into environmental programs which would, in turn, finds it way to creating jobs. Because of the the passing of the stimulus plan, energy plans such as solar and wind might not have received the funding that is available for them in the stimulus bill.U Unfortunately, so little has been spent.
Van Jones: Ex Czar proponent of Energy Spending
The Department of Energy says that this slow release of money is due to the nature of the system. The first amount of money that was released to energy companies actually came in the form of tax breaks and the such which was meant to boost these companies. The second amount of money which is actually the majority is meant to be released to these companies after they have completed application processes. This is money actually sent to the companies rather than tax breaks.
“Right now we’re getting judged on job creation and how quickly we’re getting money out into the economy. Ten years from now, we will get judged on whether the project delivered enduring value for the American people,” Matt Rogers, the senior adviser for Recovery Act Implementation at the Energy Department told NPR.
The fundamental reason that things are taking longer is because, unlike tax breaks, the money that is being used to start new projects. Therefore, these projects need to first be planned and then comes the arduous process of getting the application reviewed by the Department of Energy experts. Once this happens and they receive the money, the companies need to actually put it into place with building components and hiring employees to work. This final stage is when people are going to look back and question whether this stimulus plan actually worked when discussing the $36.7 billion allocated.
The time frame according to some experts is that November for when people will start seeing jobs. This is when the money is in the bank and they start hiring people and getting equipment. They expect that these projects will be in full swing around January. If all works according to plan, as Van Jones believed, “every dollar spent on green jobs is going to be out there working double time, triple time.”