August 20, 2011

From coast to coast, green jobs agenda a disaster

A wasted stimulus trying to  'green' the economy

During the 2008 campaign, candidate Barack Obama said he would create 5 million well-paying "green" jobs within 10 years. Politico has reported that "he's spent considerable time since entering the White House trying to make that happen."

Last week Obama toured to much fanfare a Johnson Controls plant in Michigan where $300 million in conservation grants produced 150 jobs — at a cost of $2 million per position.

Stimulus funds intended to boost the green economy haven't been well spent. The latest example of this is Monday's bankruptcy filing by Evergreen Solar Inc. The Massachusetts company that the White House once said "is hoping to hire 90 to 100 people" thanks to stimulus money has $485.6 million in debt. Evergreen closed a factory in March, reports the Boston Herald, and cut 800 jobs. A Michigan plant is to be shut down, as well, causing the loss of even more jobs.
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Green Vehicles of Salinas, Calif., which has burned through more than $500,000 in money "invested" by the city, folded last month without having produced anything of significance.
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in Seattle,...a  $20 million federal grant for home weatherization has, according to KOMO news, retrofitted only three houses and created 14 jobs in more than a year.

Even the New York Times Admits Obama’s Green Jobs Agenda Is a Complete Disaster

In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned. President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream.
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Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show.

Walter Russell Mead calls it Feeding the Masses on Unicorn Ribs

The belief that green jobs would drive a new era of American prosperity was — like the large majority of green policy chat — intellectually incoherent.  The goods that drive renewable energy industries, like so much else in this world, are far cheaper to construct in Asia.
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Here in particular Senator Obama as he then was would have benefited from a less gushing, more skeptical press.  If his first couple of speeches on this topic had been met with the incredulous and even mocking response they deserved, he probably would not have married himself so publicly to so vain and so empty a cause.
Posted by Jill Fallon at August 20, 2011 4:51 AM | Permalink