Obama talks 'caulkers', energy efficiency in Home Depot visit

The administration wants Congress to approve incentives like rebates to homeowners who cut their energy usage, a cash for caulkers follow-up to the popular cash for clunkers program that replaced old gas guzzlers with more fuel efficient cars and trucks.

The Alliance of American Manufacturing, a group backed by the steel industry, likes the idea, but has a suggestion.

“In most cases, energy-efficient appliances and retrofitting products manufactured overseas do not rely on American-made steel, rubber, glass, and other key inputs,” the group said in a news release.

“The president, his advisors, and Congress should take a close look at where the products commonly found on the shelves of Home Depot are made,” said AAM Executive Director Scott Paul.

Obama also noted a memo from Vice President Joe Biden that said the country was on track to double renewable energy production by 2012, one of the administration’s stated goals.

A $23 billion investment in renewable energy will likely create 253,000 direct jobs. The memo defines a job as one that lasts for one year. “A project that employs one person for two years would count as creating two jobs,” the memo states.

As the Wall Street Journal’s Environmental Capital blog pointed out, the math works out to slightly more than $90,000 a job.