Green Jobs on the Run

The exodus of U.S. jobs continues as British petroleum giant BP announced it will be closing its solar-panel manufacturing plant in Frederick, MD, and moving to China and India.

Barely three years after unveiling a $70 million plan for the creation of green jobs, the company says it’s preparing to layoff 320 workers and will tear down the Frederick facility.

We’re “moving to where we can manufacture cheaply,” said BP chief executive Tony Hayward in the Washington Post.

Whether the company will be using U.S. taxpayer money to fund its foreign venture remains to be seen. According to the Post, BP is seeking U.S. government dollars to finance a proposed 32 megawatt solar-power generation plant on Long Island, NY.

Legislation to stop the flow of taxpayer money to foreign manufacturers is underway in Congress. The bill was introduced in the wake of reports of a controversial wind farm in Texas using stimulus funds to create jobs in China and a new report revealing that a clean-energy grant program in the stimulus has paid out more than $1 billion to foreign manufacturers.

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jon Tester (D-MT) urged the Obama administration to suspend the program indefinitely until the law can be fixed so that funds only flow to projects that will create jobs in the United States.

“We cannot sit idly by while China races to the forefront of clean energy production at the expense of U.S. manufacturing, U.S. jobs, and U.S. energy independence,” said Senator Brown. “And we certainly can’t shoot ourselves in the foot by helping to finance Chinese clean energy production. Taxpayers expect the government to use their dollars to support American jobs. This legislation ensures that will happen.”

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