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Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat-New York) is demanding that the Obama administration not use funds from the 'stimulus package' enacted in early 2009 (i.e., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law No.111-5) to provide funding for the purchase of wind generators produced in China. In a letter that he wrote to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu on November 5, 2009, Senator Schumer argues that a priority in that law 'is investment in the domestic renewable energy industry, not investment in foreign manufacturers.'
At issue is a project that was publicized by a report from the Investigative Reporting Workshop highlighting what Senator Schumer calls 'the shocking fact that 84 percent of the $1.05 billion in clean-energy grants distributed by the U.S. government since September 1st have gone to foreign wind companies.' According to his letter, 695 of the 982 wind turbines installed at the 11 wind farm projects that have received stimulus package money to date were built by foreign manufacturers.
Senator Schumer is specifically seeking a decision to block the use of stimulus funds for the purchase of Chinese generators to be used in a Texas wind farm. Close to half a billion dollars worth of generators is at stake in this $1.5 billion project.
Arguing that U.S. wind industry, including companies located in his home state, 'is fully capable of providing these and other high-value components,' Senator Schumer stated that 'China has been shielding and subsidizing its clean energy sector for years. Trade barriers keep out U.S. investments and products and government subsidies give Chinese manufacturers an unfair advantage in the global marketplace. Why then would the U.S. government ever agree to use stimulus funds to bolster China's renewable energy sector?' He concluded the letter by respectfully urg'ing' 'Secretary Chu' to deny Recovery Act funding to this project unless the majority of components are manufactured in the United States.'
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