Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The green jobs boondoggle

How are all those green jobs working out?

Even after fudging numbers and ignoring the huge subsidies, a liberal think tank reports that growth in the alternative-energy sector lags the rest of the economy.

Green jobs were supposed to be our salvation, both for the earth and for the economy, according to the Obama administration. White House policy based on this flawed premise led to offshore and onshore drilling bans and the locking-up of energy-rich lands while huge alternative energy subsidies (aka "investments") found their way into the stimulus and other legislation.

As happens when government tries to pick winners and losers, the government lost — no, we all lost. As has happened in countries such as Spain, this misallocation of resources has succeeded only in stalling our economy as unemployment and debt grow.

In Spain's case, it was found that for every "green" job created, 2.2 jobs were lost in the rest of the economy.

Along comes the Brookings Institution with a report touting the fact that nearly 2.7 million people brought home paychecks in 2010 working in the "clean economy." That's a 3.4% increase in "green jobs" since 2003, and it sounds terrific until you realize the economy as a whole grew at a 4.2% rate over the same period.

As the folks at HotAir.com duly note, Brookings got to its conclusions by including, for example, all mass transit workers regardless of the actual energy source. They also lump in people such as organic farmers and nuclear energy workers, though the greenies have never touted nuclear energy as "clean" or nuclear jobs as "green."

And let's not forget to factor into these job numbers the massive amounts of subsidies (i.e., your tax dollars) that are pumped into the green economy to further prop up these job numbers.

The article cites an Energy Department report which stated that the average subsidy per megawatt-hour for all energy was $1.65. However, for wind and solar that number jumps to $24.

And knowing what we have known and are continuing to find out about ethanol, solar and wind, do those even qualify as green jobs, anymore?


SarahB said...

Even with all the taxpayer sponsored subsidies, when we at Solar, we can't afford retail vendors. To do it, we will have to order a "DIY Solar" kit from a solar vendor and install it ourselves (which it turns out isn't half as complicated as it sounds). So...some guy in Montana will make a commission on the sale, but no roofers will get hired, no electricians contracted, etc. Green isn't competitive, or economically productive and it may never be. That is unless everyone buys into the leasing scams (pull out a calculator folks, Solar City is raping you).

Harrison said...

Windmills of the Gods kill more than little birdies...

Road Dawg said...

Sarah, expound, I don't understand.

I cant buy solar here? or find a contractor? just checking.