The Clean Economy Development Center

Clearinghouse for ‘green energy’ boondoggles was recipient of $100,000 in SEIU cash. First in a series.

Thousands of home-based health care providers have been forced into a union because they receive assistance from the state while they take care of loved ones who are disabled. The Service Employees International Union receives close to $6 million annually in forced dues from this abusive arrangement. 

House Bill 4003 would end this injustice by clarifying that Michiganders who care for relatives in their own homes are not government employees, and hence are not appropriate targets for government unions. That bill has passed the House but is stuck in the Senate. While we wait for the Senate to act, the SEIU continues to siphon money that was meant to help families.

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Here's one example of where that money might be going, drawn from the SEIU's 2010 LM-2 report.

The Clean Economy Development Center received a $100,000 donation from the SEIU in April 2010. The CEDC describes its mission as "help[ing] public officials and community leaders execute clean energy projects and create jobs. It does this through a "network of business, government, labor and nonprofit partners" that "connects local leaders to the right mix of tools, including the federal grant dollars and private-sector investment required to grow markets." The CEDC's main initiative appears to be a "Clean Economy Roadshow" that it uses to promote clean energy programs to government officials and investors. Among other things, CEDC claims that the roadshow has:

  • Helped eight communities win over $130 million in federal grants for pilot energy retrofit programs
  • Supported the passage of quality assurance and energy-efficiency financing legislation in Maine, Ohio and Wisconsin
  • Connected private and community sector partners to U.S. Department of Energy-funded programs in 21 communities across the country

Green energy has been heavily promoted as a means to protect the environment, lessen dependence on foreign oil producers and accelerate economic growth. The environmental case for green energy has been called into question, however, and its job-creating potential is dubious as well

It is worth noting that so many of the CEDC's accomplishments consist of passing legislation or facilitating access to government funds. At no point on the organization's website is there any reference made to the actual creation of usable energy at competitive costs. To the extent any results are quantified, "dollars" — typically from government — are far more prominent than "kilowatt hours" or "joules" or any other measurement of energy. It would appear that the Clean Economy Development Center serves more as a facilitator of taxpayer-funded clean energy boondoggles than as a genuine engineering and research organization devoted to discovering clean sources of reliable energy.

Tomorrow: "Change that Works"