Skip to comments.GREEN ENERGY GULAG
Posted on 06/20/2012 10:13:32 AM PDT by Hojczyk
The Obama administration is using prison labor to advance its green energy agenda, enriching foreign companies and some of the presidents largest campaign donors in the process.
Hundreds of federal inmates earn between $0.23 and $1.15 per hour manufacturing solar panels at UNICOR facilities in New York and Oregon. The panels are then sold to a variety of government agencies, which are obligated by law to purchase them.
UNICOR typically partners with private companies to install the panels and help the agencies put in place other energy-saving measures. Major beneficiaries of this system include Constellation Energy, which was recently acquired by the Exelon Corporation, a Chicago-based utility provider with deep ties to the Obama administration.
Constellations new parent company, Exelon, is one of the most politically connected firms in the country, as well as one of President Obamas top sources of campaign contributions.
UNICOR has a history of using its competitive advantagefederal law typically requires government agencies to buy its products, even if cheaper alternatives are availableto undercut private businesses.
A military clothing manufacturer in Tennessee recently lost out to UNICOR on a $45 million contract to make products for the Department of Defense, the New York Times reported in March. As a result, the firm laid off about 100 employees.
Earlier this year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) intervened on several occasions to prevent Kentucky manufacturers from losing federal contracts to UNICOR.
Why are we going to use taxpayer dollars to purchase materials that are literally taking business away from the private sector? said Rep. Huizenga. And lets be honest, lets pull the pin on the hand grenade. If this was Chinese prison labor, wed be rejecting every single one of these imports.
(Excerpt) Read more at freebeacon.com ...
LOL no wonder Solyndra failed.
How can you compete with those labor rates....
I bet the quality on these prisoner assembled panels is very poor. You get what you pay for.
Of course they are going on government buildings so they probably care less about the quality and life span ... or if it even makes economic sense to install them in the first place.
Politicians “invest” for a political return, not monetary.
Now if Dems can just figure out a way to unionize inmates.(they’re already trying to let felons vote)
Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, UNICOR is a giant cash cow for Democrats. Many private sector manufacturers would be happy to employ federal inmates at wages much higher than $0.23 to $1.15 per hour. Like Fannie, Freddie, the TVA, the Parks Service, etc., UNICOR should be privatized if not abolished.