Home Energy Detective's Troy Tanner
performing a home energy audit

by Carol Han

Posted: 6:07 pm EST January 8, 2010

WASHINGTON -- To combat rising unemployment, the President Barack Obama announced Friday that the government will be providing more than $2 billion in tax credits to create 17,000 new jobs. The funding will come from the stimulus package Congress passed last year.

"Building a robust clean-energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future -- jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced," Obama said.

However, some are questioning whether the green sales pitch is delivering as many jobs as promised.

The latest government numbers on the www.recovery.gov web site show that as of October, stimulus dollars have created 640,329 jobs, a good chunk of them in the green sector. Some of those "new" jobs, though, may only have new labels, making them eligible for tax breaks.

National Public Radio's senior business editor, Marilyn Geewax, explained, "It's not entirely clear if so far what we've had is a lot of relabeling. It's possible that someone has been weatherizing windows for 20 years and now all of a sudden it's gets relabeled a green job."

Troy Tanner, a self-dubbed "home energy detective," argues that his business is proof that green investment is resulting in new jobs. He makes house calls to help homeowners and businesses become more energy efficient, and he says business is booming.

"I'm looking to hire people because I just can't keep up. There's quite a bit of work out there and I can't handle it all by myself," Tanner explained.

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