The Hiring Freeze Affect On Washington's Weatherization Plan...

We can all agree that weatherization of homes and business can be good for the health of the environment. However, according to the N.Y. Times, the plan so far has fallen short of expectations. A large chunk of the funding was supposed to be allocated to low income homes. The problem is, a lot of low-income homes are actually in trouble of being foreclosed on if they haven't already been.

The department of Energy's inspector general said that less than 2 percent has been assisted in many of the largest states.

The result is that there has been very little progress, and very few jobs created. The Winter is almost over. This is a time when most homes use heat to warm their living spaces. The most alarming problem is the fact that really no jobs have been created from the project.

There are however, new programs being created in order to create more jobs. I have no doubt that j0bs are one of the Obama administration's top priorities. It's all a learning process as the country moves into fairly unfamiliar territory. The new bill should address problems not solved by the last one.

Many will be quick to blame Obama for this situation. However, the inspector general in his report, stated that the project was doomed from the start by bureaucratic delays and the recession itself. Spending cuts caused by the economic downturn forced many states to trim personnel expenses.

Many of the workers who would be responsible for those duties were actually experiencing furloughs as state employees. Even worse, prevented the hiring of additional workers to give a hand in the process. This may be the individual states' fault, since these jobs would have been funded by the government. Why would the program not continue as planned?

For example, and hiring freeze in N.Y. was responsible for limiting the goal of 45,400 weatherized homes down to 280.

Pennsylvania had similar issues because of a deadlock in the state budget. Several other states have not weatherized any units.

Another obstacle was the decision of Congress to come up with what these workers should be paid by the contractors. Of course, everyone has varying opinions on what they should be paid.

Although almost 40,000 homes and buildings have been weatherized so far, there is still a long, long road to go.

What do you think will happen in the near future of this project? Do you think the states are to blame for not being in position to put the government funding to work? How much do you think this will help the environment?...



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