View Full Version : Obama's Green Energy Gulag.

06-22-2012, 09:08 AM
Federal inmates build solar panels for company with ties to Obama administration

The Obama administration is using prison labor to advance its green energy agenda, enriching foreign companies and some of the president’s largest campaign donors in the process.
Federal Prison Industries, most commonly known by the trade name UNICOR, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Justice. Established by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934, UNICOR was intended as a voluntary work-training program for federal inmates. It has recently gone into business supplying federal agencies with green energy technology such as solar panels.

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.

One of the alleged rationales for the program is to allow federal agencies to purchase domestically produced solar panels at an affordable price. UNICOR’s website insists (http://www.unicor.gov/electronics/solar/index.cfm) its solar panels “are domestically sourced and produced, meeting the requirements of the Buy American Act, Trade Agreement Act, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”

However, the agency signed a five-year $219 million contract (https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=0a6cb333c605e0f250cf214d719b0c1e&_cview=0) in 2009 with Taiwan-based Motech Industries to provide the individual solar cells used to assemble the panels.

It is a common trick employed to get around “Buy American” restrictions, said Rep. Bill Huizenga (R., Mich.). Products manufactured using foreign components still qualify if they are physically assembled in the United States. “It’s yet another outrage on what is happening with our tax dollars,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. Huizenga has sponsored legislation to reform UNICOR in an effort to ensure that prison labor “is not taking business away from the private sector.”


06-22-2012, 10:10 AM
Even paying inmates nothing, green energy still is too expensive and does not work. This alone should show that it s not ready and that our government should get out of the picking winners business.

06-22-2012, 10:13 AM
BTW, those are the green jobs that Obama keeps clamouring for and keeps talking about. $1.15 an hour - what a ****ing joke.

06-22-2012, 11:31 AM
Has there ever been a less insightful rallying call than "Buy American"?

06-22-2012, 11:45 AM
Prsioners have been making things for awhile. What gets me is how the president is basically using slave wages to hook up his top donors so they could make money. And nevermind that half the prison population are in there for victimless crimes. He trashes Bain Capital for their tactics (while taking money from them) and supplies his boys with VERY CHEAP labor. Only in America.