House GOP energy leaders push Geithner for grant repayment plans

The top two House Energy Republicans pressed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in a letter sent Friday for a plan to repay taxpayers for grants to now-bankrupt firms through a stimulus energy program.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) gave Geithner an Aug. 24 deadline for supplying information on recovery plans for grants to now-bankrupt firms.

The program in question is the 1603 program.

The lawmakers disparaged the program for its job-creation results. Committee staff in a Friday statement cited Congressional Research Service testimony that said the program’s estimated 8,042 jobs, created annually over a two-year period, amounted to $1.2 million spent on each job.

“As of March 29, 2012, over $11 billion in Federal funds under this program have been directed to more than 34,000 projects to build wind farms and solar projects and benefit other alternatives to oil and natural gas,” the lawmakers wrote, adding a June hearing “raised significant concerns about the section 1603 program’s value as an engine of job creation, especially considering the tremendous federal resources already, and still remaining, to be committed to it.”

— This story was updated at 4:44 p.m. to reflect changes regarding the stimulus program in question.



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