Former White House aide defends 'green' stimulus, says 720K jobs were created

President Obama’s $90 billion green stimulus program leveraged billions in private investment, reduced carbon emissions and added 720,000 jobs, Joseph Aldy, a Harvard University economist and former special assistant to the president for energy and environment, argued in a new research paper.

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In the paper, Aldy praised a green grant program that awarded funds to any renewable power project that met certain specifications. He said that helped add enough electric wind generation to lower carbon emissions from power plants by 2 percent.

Aldy said such performance trumped the Solyndra blunder, though he was critical of the federal loan guarantee program from which the California firm benefited.

He also said the loan program “had no meaningful impact on the economy, no meaningful impact on the energy system,” according to The Washington Post.

Solyndra received a $535 million federal loan guarantee, only to go belly-up in 2011.

Republicans used the Solyndra incident to attack the stimulus plan and Obama’s green jobs initiatives during the campaign.

In the run-up to the election last year, the GOP-led House passed the No More Solyndras Act to curb the Energy and Treasury departments' ability to approve similar loan guarantees.

Conservatives labeled Solyndra an example of unwarranted government intervention in energy markets, and called on the White House to end federal support of clean energy.

Click here for the study, and here for a preliminary version that does not require a subscription.