Myth of Green Jobs

Overview

The wind industry in Maine has had to back off some of the original major claims it made to justify its desecration of our beautiful state. A good example is their false claim that wind will get us off oil. Another is that wind will have an effect on CO2. You just don't hear these as often as you once did and part of the reason might be due to the fact that we showed them to be outright lies.

 

These days (this is being written on 11/3/11) the wind industry is pandering and pushing itself as a provider of jobs. That somehow wind will help the economy.

 

These claims remind us of the broken window fallacy:

"

Bastiat's original parable of the broken window from Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas (1850):

Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation—"It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen."

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.[1][2]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

 

The reality of wind power in Maine is it creates short term construction jobs as well as short term related jobs such as that of the Portland lawyer who is paid to say that fishermen on Maine's pristine lakes care not for the scenery, but only the fish. Or jobs for so called biologists who will make pronouncements at the Vinalhaven wind site that "there are no bats on Vinalhaven".

 

We cannot dispute these jobs. They are real, but temporary.

 

NRCM and other wind cheerleaders have stepped way out of their bailiwicks and weighed in on job creation. You'll hear them talk about the 300 Maine companies that have benefited from wind projects. What they don't tell you is some of those they've counted have done little more than sell a few boxes of nails. No matter how trivial they count them. Another thing they will not tell you is that 300 companies, with all due respect, represent but a tiny fraction of Maine's 34,942 firms according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

http://www.census.gov/econ/susb/

 

Moreover, there is no mention about the strain that wind power's inevitable higher electricity rates place on all 34,942 firms. Without question, our high electricity rates are a MAJOR obstacle to our existing businesses and attracting new businesses. So while some of the largest companies can afford to dispatch their workers complete with construction vests to hearings to testify for wind projects (and they exit in mass at 4PM), these are but a vocal minority. The vast majority of Maine businesses will be affected very adversely if we keep protecting these wind companies at the expense of lower priced electricity providers.

 

Also, tourism and "Quality of Place" will be hurt.

 

Thankfully, the U.S. is finally waking up to the great green jobs scam and so are Mainers. This section will serve as a repository of information on the false claims of real job growth.

 

Table of Contents

3/3/10 -  ‘Anti-Lobbyist’ Obama Administration Recruited Left-Wing Lobbyists to Sell Bogus ‘Green Jobs’

3/3/10 - Bombshell: Obama Admin. Caught Red-Handed Working with Big Wind Energy Lobbyists, Misleading American People

9/22/11 - The Empty Promise of Green Jobs (Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives)

11/3/11 - The Number of Companies in Maine

11/3/11 - Green-Energy Jobs Lie

2/1/12 - Learning from Others’ Mistakes: What Europe’s Experience with Renewable Mandates and Subsidies can Teach Texas

2/12/12 - Obama's failed green jobs

3/1/12 - Obama's Green Energy Failures Continue To Abound

6/1/12 - All Green Thumbs - Voters realize that the benefits of renewable energy aren’t worth the costs


 

Contents

 

3/3/10 -  ‘Anti-Lobbyist’ Obama Administration Recruited Left-Wing Lobbyists to Sell Bogus ‘Green Jobs’

 

A FOIA reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to help cover up two economic studies pointing to the failure of European wind energy programs.

by
CHRISTOPHER HORNER

Bio

March 3, 2010 - 11:57 am

After two studies refuted President Barack Obama’s assertions regarding the success of Spain’s and Denmark’s wind energy programs, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to attack the studies.

Via the FOIA request, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has learned that the Department of Energy — specifically the office headed by Al Gore’s company’s former CEO, Cathy Zoi — turned to George Soros’ Center for American Progress and other wind industry lobbyists to help push Obama’s wind energy proposals.

The FOIA request was not entirely complied with, and CEI just filed an appeal over documents still being withheld. In addition to withholding many internal communications, the administration is withholding communications with these lobbyists and other related communications, claiming they constitute “inter-agency memoranda.” This implies that, according to the DoE, wind industry lobbyists and Soros’s Center for American Progress are — for legal purposes — extensions of the government.

This is a defense commonly employed against FOIA requests when seeking to withhold certain communications with, for example, paid consultants.

As candidate and president, on eight separate occasions Barack Obama instructed Americans to “think about what’s happening in countries like Spain [and] Germany” if they wanted to know what successful “green jobs” policies look like, and if they wanted to know what we should expect here in the U.S. from his agenda.

Some European economists took a look. In March, a research team from Madrid’s King Juan Carlos University produced a detailed, substantive, heavily sourced, two-method paper: “Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources.” The paper concluded that Spain’s “green jobs” program was an economic failure, in fact costing Spain many jobs.

The president of Spain’s renewable energy association — along with a Communist Party affiliated trade federation — decried the paper’s lead author as being unpatriotic.

The former wrote in Spain’s leading paper, El Mundo, slamming the research paper. However, he did not critique the paper itself — he agreed with its conclusion. He was furious only that the study was publicized. By revealing the truth about Spain’s increasingly mythologized “green jobs” and renewable energy experience, the revealed study threatened the prospects for Spain’s companies to be bailed out by the U.S. repeating these mistakes.

Incidentally, this became a common refrain. After the Spanish study embarrassed the White House, prompting substantial media attention and even questioning at a press conference, Obama swapped out Denmark for Spain for later references to an enacted “green jobs” program.

Soon, Denmark produced a study (“Wind Energy: The Case of Denmark“) through the think-tank CEPOS. This paper also revealed tremendous costs, and that Obama’s claim about Denmark’s “renewables” experience was also steeped in mythology.

The response from windmill advocates in Denmark was similar: such studies threaten Danish industry by reducing the chances that the U.S. will serve as the hoped-for massive new market to make inefficient energy sources profitable for their foreign manufacturers (Danish Radio TV News, Thursday, February 25, 2010).

Back in the U.S., the American Wind Energy Association — the lobby for “Big Wind” in Washington, D.C., which includes a few Spanish wind giants — also attacked the publication of the Spanish paper.

Soon, the Obama administration published a five-page talking points memo assailing the economic assessment — written by two young, non-economist, pro-wind activists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Boulder, Colorado.

NREL is an extension of the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). EERE is run by Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi, who, until assuming this post, served as CEO to Al Gore’sAlliance for Climate Protection. Zoi is responsible for many millions of the “green jobs” stimulus dollars pushed for and designed by Van Jones (this according to Jones himself).

The Obama administration’s criticisms — drafted in often personal terms — distilled to two main points, which we now know were politicized, lobbyist-assisted complaints. These were:

– The Spanish paper suffered from a “lack of rigor.”

– The Spanish paper applied “consensus economics.”

NREL made the most noise regarding the latter, upset that the Spaniards refused to use the input-output (or Leontief) methodology designed for central planning, in which all is assumed to be knowable, controllable, and static. This method has been discredited outside of social democratic government agencies and select associations. Instead, the Spanish study relied upon methodology employed by real-world businesses in competitive fields when deciding how to deploy resources — which is not “non-traditional,” as claimed by NREL.

http://pjmedia.com/blog/breaking-anti-lobbyist-obama-administration-recruited-left-wing-lobbyists-to-sell-bogus-green-jobs/

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

3/3/10 - Bombshell: Obama Admin. Caught Red-Handed Working with Big Wind Energy Lobbyists, Misleading American People


Posted March 3, 2010 

“It is almost impossible to know who is the government and who the lobbyists. They have merged into one single animal with different faces.” – Dr. Gabriel Calzada, Spanish economics professor and researcher


BACKGROUNDLast March, Spanish economics professor Gabriel Calzada published an academic analysis that showed for every green job created in Spain, 2.2 jobs were lost as an opportunity cost. This finding contradicted the Obama Administration’s claim that massive subsidies for wind and solar energy would create jobs. Calzada’s study gained national attention from the media and policymakers, making it difficult for the Administration to advance such failed policies. The Administration’s response? Huddle with big wind lobbyists and other special-interest groups to collaborate on a taxpayer-funded “rebuttal” to Calzada’s work. When the media and some in Congress inquired about the highly unusual step the Administration took in analyzing and responding to an analysis of the Spanish experience with renewable energy and green jobs, senior level government officials were not forthright or honest in their response.

Washington, DC – A day after being sworn into office, President Obama issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies “reaffirming the commitment to accountability and transparency.” In the memo, the President states “All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA [Freedom of Information Act], and to usher in a new era of open Government.” The President has also promised on numerous occasions that lobbyists will have no influence over his Administration.

Despite calls for increased transparency and openness, recent U.S. Energy Department documents obtained through FOIA requests and reported by The Chicago Tribune show significant collusion among Energy Department officials and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), as well as other third party special-interest groups, including the left-of-center Center for American Progress.

Assistant secretary of energy Cathy Zoi, who has held top positions at Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, is charged with crafting renewable energy policy for the Obama Administration. According to FOIA-obtained emails, Zoi and her team worked hand-in-hand with big wind’s lobby – AWEA – and other special-interest groups to rebut and discredit a groundbreaking study published by Dr. Gabriel Calzada, of Madrid’s King Juan Carlos University, that examined Span’s experience with renewable energy mandates and so-called “green jobs.”

Dr. Calzada’s original academic research squarely contradicts the Obama Administration’s position on taxpayer-funded green jobs. Calzada determined that for every “green job” the Spanish government created, 2.2 jobs were destroyed as an opportunity cost. They also found that 9 out of 10 government-created “green jobs” are temporary, highlighted the fact that Spain’s unemployment is at an all-time high, and noted that overall carbon emissions – which are said to decrease under “the greening of the economy” – actually increased.

This research on Spain’s failed attempted to create a government-mandated “green economy” served as a major setback for those who favor top-down federal energy mandates, subsidies and handouts – such as AWEA and the President himself. According to the FOIA-secured emails, high-level Energy Department officials worked with AWEA and other special-interest groups to collaborate on a taxpayer-funded rebuttal.

“This Administration may publicly pride itself on being open, transparent, and free from lobbyist influence, but these emails and internal documents demonstrate that actions speak much louder than words,” said Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research. “Dr. Calzada led and conducted a sound analysis of Spain’s failed experience with renewable energy mandates. For his work to be targeted by top U.S. government officials is disturbing. What’s worse, though, is how closely this Administration’s ties are with far-left special-interests lobbyists.”

According to a FOIA-obtained email, one Energy Department official stated, “This is the first time we’ve been asked to response so directly (right?).” His colleague responded, “That is probably true. But we can let DOE [Head Quarters] tell them why they wanted it, especially if this is the first time.”

Additional information:

StudySpanish Green Jobs/Renewable Energy Study

RebuttalNREL Rebuttal to Spanish Green Jobs/Renewable Energy Study

Blog postIER Response to DOE/NREL rebuttal

Note: The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) obtained this information through a FOIA request. Christopher Horner, a senior fellow at CEI, posted his thoughts HERE.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 3, 2010
CONTACT: 
LAURA HENDERSON, 202.621.2951
PATRICK CREIGHTON, 202.621.2947

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2010/03/03/bombshell-obama-admin-caught-red-handed-working-with-big-wind-energy-lobbyists-misleading-american-people/

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

9/22/11 - The Empty Promise of Green Jobs (Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives)

THE EMPTY PROMISE OF GREEN JOBS
The Costly Consequences of Crony Capitalism
September 22, 2011

In the fall of 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama made a campaign promise to jumpstart the economy with an influx of green jobs. “We’ll invest $150 billion over the next decade and harness private efforts to build a clean-energy economy,” he said. This expenditure of taxpayer dollars, averaging $15 billion a year, would then “create 5 million new jobs that pay well, and can never be outsourced.”[1]

The President has kept his promise to spend billions of borrowed dollars on green energy, but his promises that such spending would create a new, self-sufficient industry capable of providing millions of jobs for Americans have proven empty. The President’s stimulus law alone included tens of billions in new government subsidies for politically favored renewable-energy interests: $6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy investments; $17 billion for the Department of Energy’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs; $2 billion for energy-efficient battery manufacturing; and billions more on other “clean-energy” programs for a total of $80 billion.

Two years later, the President’s promise of millions of jobs stands in stark contrast with reality. As a recent report from a Bay-Area news organization made clear, green jobs predictions are “proving a pipe dream.”[2]

Reality Versus Fantasy

Why haven’t the President’s promises translated into real economic gains? The answer lies in the federal government’s unsuitability for the role the President wants it to play. Since his inauguration, the President has spoken often of the federal government as an “investor” in alternative sources of energy. But the federal government’s job is to make and enforce the rules of the road, so that markets are fair, transparent and competitive – in other words, to foster an environment that is conducive to private-sector job creation.

When the government takes on the role of “investor,” it usually does so because, according to the party in power, the “wrong” companies are winning in the free market, and the “right” companies are losing. By seeking to pick winners and losers in a dynamic and diverse economy, the government-as-investor model distorts markets, weakens the rule of law, wastes taxpayer dollars, and fails to spur sustainable job creation.

The President’s energy policies have exemplified this failed model. His approach has been characterized by punitive regulations on commercially competitive sources of energy, coupled with reckless spending on uncompetitive alternatives. Instead of promoting the innovative and entrepreneurial genius of American business, the President’s agenda has consolidated decision-making in Washington through a toxic mix of increased spending and more regulations.

Those who support this agenda argue that government can direct labor and capital markets more equitably than individuals and businesses, without sacrificing efficiency. In fact, forcing firms that do not enjoy government support to compete against firms that do – instead of letting all firms compete on a level playing field – is neither equitable nor efficient. The government-as-investor model has a poor track record in general, and its track record of investing in energy alternatives is positively abysmal.

In the late 1970s, in response to oil embargoes, the Carter Administration championed the development of synthetic fuels and ethanol. One memorable failure pushed by the Carter White House was the Synthetic Fuels Corporation, intended to finance the development of commercial synthetic fuel plants through massive subsidies. After exposing taxpayers to more than $400 billion in subsidies, this government-created corporation shut its doors in 1986.[3] Commercial “synfuels,” which were unable to compete commercially, stand today as just one example of the government’s inability to choose wise or productive investments in energy sector. There is a long history of failed efforts by federal agencies to develop commercially viable energy projects.

In 1979, the Carter Administration also initiated subsidies for corn ethanol, continued today in the form of tariffs on imported ethanol and the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS), which requires a percentage of ethanol to be used in gasoline. A favorite of both parties, these “temporary” benefits have calcified into decades-old corporate welfare, and American families are still living with the resulting higher tax burdens and energy costs over 30 years later.

Inflating one sector of the economy through complicated tax deductions, government handouts and new mandates carry hidden costs as well. Subsidizing a favored industry drives down productivity, while driving up costs to the broader economy. Targeted gains often prove fleeting, with losses in job creation and growth, not only in the favored industry, but throughout the wider economy.[4]

This effect is clearly seen in the employment picture for “green” jobs, not just here in the U.S., but also in Europe, where government subsidies statistically had the counterproductive effect of either double-counting jobs that were shifted from one sector to another or, worse, of actually destroying jobs. In Spain, which spent $600,000 for every green job, recent research found the country’s interventions into the energy market destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green position it created. Similarly, the United Kingdom found that 3.7 jobs were lost for every job identified in renewable energy.[5] Job-creation and job-shifting are not the same.

In Europe, policymakers made the same flawed assumption that President Obama made when he promised that government spending on green energy would create 5 million new jobs: that the “labor-intensity” of green energy was a virtue unto itself. Labor intensity – the labor required per unit of energy produced – is much higher in the green-jobs sector. Advocates point to this higher labor requirement as a benefit because, they say, it will tend to increase employment.[6]

However, as Dr. William Bogart, a professor of economics at York College, explained in testimony before the House Committee on Education and Labor in 2009, if the cost of energy increases as a result of inefficient production, then the net benefits available decrease. In the past, the efficiency and comparatively low cost of energy use in the U.S. led to higher productivity and higher standards of living. With costlier energy systems, many goods will become more costly, requiring consumers to pay more and making American producers less competitive in world markets.[7]

Enough is Enough

With green-energy stimulus funding driven by political calculus at the expense of economic return, the question becomes: How much is enough?

In 2007, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) conducted an analysis of subsidies received by both alternative and conventional energy sources. On a dollar-per-unit-of-production basis, the level of subsidies received by the wind and solar industries were almost 100 times greater than those for conventional energy.[8]

Subsidies for renewable energy production have surged since the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress dramatically increased taxpayer support for these sources of energy with the stimulus law and other appropriations. In 2010, $11.9 billion was recorded in total federal subsidies for electricity production, according to a report from the EIA. Of this nearly $12 billion in subsidies, renewable-energy sources received $6.6 billion, or 55.3%, even though they accounted for just 10.3% of the electricity generation. Wind plants alone accounted for 42% of total electricity-related subsidies.[9] 

Total subsidies for renewable energy, including biofuels, rose from $5.1 billion in 2007 to $14.7 billion in 2010. Much of that increase was due to stimulus spending, the report noted, a 188% increase.[10]

Federal Electric Subsidies per Unit of Production


The Returns on Government Investment

Since its introduction in the 2009 stimulus bill, the Department of Energy (DOE) has issued $40 billion in new loan guarantees for private-sector loans for renewable energy projects that might not otherwise have been market-viable. Already, multi-million dollar projects, initially labeled as successes, have failed:

  • The first renewable energy loan guarantee recipient, solar start-up Solyndra, received a loan guarantee for $535 million in the fall of 2009, even after repeated warnings from federal financial analysts. In the spring of 2010, it failed to complete its initial public offering after an independent audit questioned the ongoing viability of the firm. Then, in the fall of 2010, the firm closed one of its manufacturing facilities and laid off 180 workers. Finally, the firm declared bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 employees only 15 months after Obama visited a company factory.

  • Beacon Power, received a $43 million loan guarantee in July of 2009. Since then, its stock price has dropped by 90 percent – a period during which the NASDAQ exchange on which it is listed has increased by 40 percent. The company has not been in compliance with NASDAQ listing requirements, leading to a delisting determination from the exchange.

  • First Wind Holdings, received a $117 million loan guarantee in March of 2010. First Wind withdrew its initial public offering in October of 2010, due to a lack of investor demand. [11] According to the Boston Globe, investors shied away from the company because “First Wind owes more than $500 million, loses money on a steady basis, and reports a negative cash flow.”[12]

Even in the midst of these failures, DOE has been advertising additional loan guarantee recipients, announcing a $1.2 billion loan guarantee to another solar company just one day after the FBI raided Solyndra’s offices. Congressional investigators are initiating a review to examine how many future Solyndras have been already financed by this loan-guarantee program or approved through shoddy review, and how can we prevent future examples of this kind of wasteful federal spending.

Western states, which have invested billions in state subsidies for the green economy, have had to deal more than most with the consequences of mismanaged expectations and lost investments. For all the pie-in-the sky campaign claims touting millions of new permanent, high-paying jobs, there has not been a full accounting of positions created. Monthly Labor Department employment reports are silent on a “green-collar” workforce. However, in July, the Brookings Institution released a study which found green jobs only accounted for 2 percent of employment nationwide and 2.2 percent in the Silicon Valley.

Rather than its intended effect of boosting new employment, Brookings found the clean-energy sector actually lost almost 500 jobs from 2003 to 2010 in California’s South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent. A $20 million federal grant in Seattle, Washington to invest in weatherization programs has resulted in only three completed projects and just 14 new jobs, many of them low-wage administrative positions.

As a Heritage Foundation report recently noted, taxpayers are hit by a “double wallop” – first by paying for ineffective, wasteful subsidies, then by paying higher energy prices caused by energy taxes and regulations.[13] This kind of wasteful government spending is not sustainable. U.S. taxpayers cannot afford billions of dollars in mismanaged resources, with poor oversight and no accountability for results.

Rewarding Failure, Punishing Success

Advocates of green energy have long argued that it’s not just enough for the government to subsidize alternatives – it also needs to promote policies that make commercially competitive sources of energy more expensive.

This is the idea behind the controversial “cap and trade” bill that President Obama tried to pass through Congress in 2009, which would have established an elaborate and bureaucratic structure for allocating conventional energy sources. This bill passed the House, but it was unable to overcome bipartisan concerns in the Senate. Cap-and-trade legislation was deemed costly, economically harmful, and ineffective in its means and goals. But instead of accepting this verdict on its preferred policy, the administration decided to let the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carry out a unilateral plan to impose emissions restrictions on American businesses.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is pushing for greenhouse gas emission standards for power plants, and although the President has temporarily delayed this move, he has not ruled out letting the EPA move forward with it in the future. If eventually enacted, the resulting rule would cost the country $1 trillion or more over a decade and millions of jobs. Similar severe costs to the economy influenced the President’s decision to pull back EPA’s proposal to prematurely readjust current ozone standards. In addition, the EPA’s move to implement the final Clean Air Transport Rule and the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology on power plants in November could increase electricity costs amidst a struggling economy.

This reflects a larger push by the Obama administration to pursue energy and environmental policy through heavy-handed regulations, circumventing accountability to taxpayers and leaving decisions in the hands of the bureaucracy infrastructure. Unnecessary regulations tie the hands of small businesses and create an uncertain business environment, discouraging job growth.

A Better Path Forward

Instead of Washington-knows-best government policy, the House-passed budget, The Path to Prosperity, advances fundamental tax reform to promote economic growth and job creation. Comprehensive tax reform would broaden the tax base; simplify the tax code by cleaning out many of the special exemptions and deductions in the tax code, including special tax breaks for all energy companies; and lower tax rates for both individuals and corporations. Cutting the marginal tax rates on labor and capital to increase incentives to work and invest would be the most effective and sustainable way to revive economic growth – in our energy sector and all sectors of the private economy.

The Path to Prosperity scales back the EPA’s large budget increases to prevent it from imposing a job-destroying maze of regulations that would act as a national energy tax. It also assumes increased revenues from bonus bids, rents, royalties, and fees as a result of lifting moratoriums and bans on safe, environmentally responsible exploration for domestic energy supplies. As part of this effort, the House has already passed three major pieces of legislation on a bipartisan basis as part of its American Energy Initiative to expand domestic energy production and create new jobs. These bills are still waiting on action in the Senate.

The Path to Prosperity would continue to fund essential government missions, including energy security and basic research and development, while paring back spending for projects best left to the private sector. Ultimately, the best energy policy is one that encourages robust competition and innovation to ensure the American people an affordable and stable supply of energy. The House-passed budget would roll back federal intervention and expensive corporate welfare directed to the President’s allied industries. Instead, it would promote policies aimed at reliable energy, lower energy prices, greater revenue generation through prosperity, and market-based solutions that advance the nation toward the goal of sustainable energy.

View as a PDF here

For more information:
Read Solyndra Deal Violates 'Fundamental Laws of Economics' here


[1] Rhee, Foon, “Obama promotes alternative energy plan”, The Boston Globe, October 14, 2008.

[2] Glantz, Aaron, “Green Jobs Predictions Proving a Pipe Dream.” The Bay Citizen, August 18, 2011.

[3] Edwards, Chris. “Downsizing the Federal Government: Department of Energy.” Cato Institute. http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/energy. Accessed: September 14, 2011.

[4] Green, Kenneth, “Environmental Consequences of Energy Choices: Horton Hears a Who’s Who”, Speech for the 23rd Annual Texas Environmental Superconference, August 4, 2011.

[5] Green, Kenneth, “The Myth of Green Jobs: The European Experience”, AEI Energy Outlook Series, February 2011.

[6] Morriss, Andrew P., et al. The False Promise of Green Energy. Cato Institute, 2011.

[7] Bogart, William, “Five Questions about Green Jobs”, Testimony to House Committee on Education and Labor, March 31, 2009.

[8] Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy Markets 2007, Energy Information Administration, April 2008.

[9] Direct Federal Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in FY 2010, Energy Information Administration, July 2011.

[10] Ibid

[11] Kreutzer, David. “Green Jobs and Red Tape.” House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. April 13, 2011.

[12] Syre, Steven. “First Wind IPO sputters suddenly.” The Boston Globe. October 29, 2010.

[13] Brownfield, Mike, “Obama’s Green Jobs Pipe Dream”, The Foundry, August 23, 2011.

This document was prepared by the Republican staff of the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives. It has not been approved by the full committee and may not reflect the views of individual committee members.

http://budget.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=261226

11/3/11 - The Number of Companies in Maine

The following Excel workbook provides information on the number of firms in Maine, putting into perspective the above mentioned relative tiny handful of temporary wind and wind-related jobs.

Download Excel file at: Maine%20_Businesses_by_%23_of_Employees.xls

 

 

11/3/11Green-Energy Jobs Lie

November 3, 2011

Green-Energy Jobs Lie

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

For several years the public has been told that "green energy" --an expansive term that embraces renewable energy, pollution reduction, and conservation-- will create jobs in America, lots of jobs. And that the federal government must subsidize green energy to create these jobs.

Now it turns out that story is nothing but a fairy tale.

At a hearing Wednesday before a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee, the Inspector General of the Energy Department and an Assistant Inspector General of the Labor Department testified that funds authorized by Congress to create green jobs had not been spent or, if spent, had yielded meager results.

Elliot Lewis, the Labor Department's assistant IG for audit, testified that an audit of the Department's green jobs training program showed that only 2.5 percent of individuals originally enrolled were still employed in the jobs for which they were trained six months after the start of their job. Whether they had gone on to other jobs, green or otherwise, or become unemployed, the Department's tracking system did not say.

Gregory Friedman, IG of the Energy Department, testified that as of late October, 45 percent of funds appropriated by the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (the stimulus bill) for green energy had not been spent, because few "shovel ready" projects existed.

The testimony of the two IGs shows why green jobs programs have not succeeded in increasing employment. Instead, government money is either wasted, or unspent.

Mr. Friedman said, with regard to weatherization programs, "The main abuses were charging for work that wasn't completed or done at all, abusing priority sequence, premiums for things that could have been gotten for a lower cost."

Take the Green Jobs training sponsored by the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration. As of June 30, ETA had awarded $490 million of the $500 million provided by Congress for the program. The funds were awarded to state workforce agencies, community colleges, and nonprofits. Green jobs were defined as those "associated with products and services that use renewable energy resources, reduce pollution, and conserve natural resources."

ETA money trained some workers in green jobs such as hybrid- and electric-car auto mechanics, weatherization of buildings, and solar panel installation. Other workers received job referrals, training in basic workforce readiness skills, and credentials and support services to overcome employment barriers.

Yet, two-and-a-half years after Congress passed the Recovery Act and almost three-quarters of the way into the program, grantees had spent only $163 million, about a third of the funds earmarked for them.

With only 1,336 trainees still employed after six months, my simple mathematical calculation yields a taxpayer cost of $121,257 per job.

Perhaps it was a good thing, given the meager results, that so little was actually spent by the states.

Here's how the numbers break out. Out of 53,000 people who were served by the ETA programs, 47,000 enrolled in training. Of them, 26,000 completed training, and 8,000 found jobs. Of the 8,000, only 1,366 were employed six months later.

With the number employed by the Green Jobs program less than two percent of ETA's target of 69,717, and another $327 million left unspent, the program does not appear to be on track. In its defense, ETA told the IG that in the remaining months of the program the grant recipients would manage to spend more money and train more people.

But this appears unlikely, the Labor Department IG said. He recommended that any of the unspent $327 million that was not being used by the states be returned to the Treasury.

The Energy Department had similar problems spending its recovery funds, according to IG Friedman. Out of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, almost a third, or $879 million, had not been spent as of March 31, two years after enactment. In Energy Delivery and Energy Reliability, $2.6 billion, or 57 percent, was unspent.

Even more disconcerting, when the funds were spent, the work was often of poor quality. In one state audit, 9 out of 17 weatherized homes failed inspection due to substandard workmanship. One subcontractor gave preference to relatives and employees, even though the target population was elderly and handicapped residents.

In response to a question by Representative Scott DesJarlais, a Tennessee Republican, Mr. Friedman explained that state and local government were unprepared to receive the grants. "Not to make light of a serious situation, but it was like attaching a lawn hose to a fire hydrant," he said. "The governments were overwhelmed."

The IGs held out no hope for better outcomes, a sentiment shared by other witnesses.

David Montgomery of NERA Economic Consulting, testified that opportunities for green jobs are few because the price of carbon emissions in America is too low. If the government wants to create green jobs, he said, it must tax carbon emissions directly.

Without a carbon tax, there is no demand for green technology, and it remains dependent on everlasting government subsidies, Montgomery argued. That's why there's no mass market now for electric vehicles, and no broad market for green technology beyond the one created by federal and state governments.

This would further increase energy prices and slow the economy. Yes, businesses and consumers would change technology to save money, just as the higher gasoline taxes in Europe have resulted in smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. But this would leave consumers less cash on hand for other expenditures.

Gregory Kats, president of Capital E, a venture capital firm, and a witness for the Democrats, testified that the need to invest large amounts of money in the economy has posed serious challenges, including scaling up capacity for training, developing programs, and recruiting.

But, on balance, he concluded that "evaluation of employment impact from multiple non-partisan organizations...demonstrate large and positive employment impact from ARRA clean energy and green funding."

Mr. Kats is on weak ground, because since the end of the recession, in June 2009, the economy has gained only 841,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, a small return on $825 billion in stimulus spending. If jobs were actually created by government spending, and there is scant evidence to support such a proposition, the stimulus bill cost nearly $1 million per job created.

American students are graduating from high schools, technical schools, and colleges where they are being taught that government investments in green energy will lead to more jobs. But when they search for jobs, these students are learning the hard way that the government-inspired stories about green energy leading to jobs is nothing more than science fiction, and more fiction than science.

 

Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a contributing editor of RealClearMarkets, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a columnist for the Examiner.

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/11/03/obamas_green-energy_jobs_lie_99347.html

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

2/1/12 - Learning from Others’ Mistakes: What Europe’s Experience with Renewable Mandates and Subsidies can Teach Texas

http://www.texaspolicy.com/pdf/2012-02-PP03-LearningFromOthersMistakes-ACEE-JosiahNeeley.pdf

Download the PDF here:

2012-02-PP03-LearningFromOthersMistakes-ACEE-JosiahNeeley.pdf

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

2/12/12 - Obama's failed green jobs

POLITICS | FEBRUARY 12, 2012

Obama's failed green jobs

U.S. House of Representatives investigations have revealed the failed green jobs initiative in President Obama’s ambitious environmental agenda.  With an initial government cost of one-half billion dollars, evidence proves that only about 10% of sponsored trainees were placed in green jobs.

As part of the Obama green energy program, the goal was to train 124,893 people, and place 79,854 (64%) in new green jobs. After 17 months, the results of the green jobs program indicate that only 52,762 were trained, and only 8,035 got green jobs – each job costs tax payers about $62,000. (U.S. Dept. of Labor Inspector General, Jan. 2012)

Obama has naively touted green jobs growth as a central element in America’s economic recovery. Blind to the economic realities of global competition and the limitations of new energy technologies, the Administration’s reliance upon green jobs was just another failed progressive dream and pandering to the eco-vote – as was his cynical and partisan obstruction of the Keystone Trans Canadian XL Pipeline for petroleum products.

The Solyndra, First Solar and many other new energy failures are direct evidence of energy technologies that fail economic viability in today’s competitive global markets, even with massive government subsidies. Current solar and wind power systems still cost 3 to 4 times that of conventional coal, natural gas and nuclear power production. Further, the giant Chinese producers of solar panels and wind energy turbines have reduced production projections due to lack of global market demands.

President Obama’s first re-election campaign ad boasts of 2.7 million green energy jobs. But, nothing in the Departments of Energy, Labor or Commerce justifies such job claims. Obama appears to be losing his big green bet on his new green economy. Sadly, he’s gambling with your money and future prosperity to win environmental votes.


http://www.examiner.com/ecopolitics-in-los-angeles/obama-s-failed-green-jobs

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3/1/12 - Obama's Green Energy Failures Continue To Abound

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, center, tours Abound Solar's plant in Colorado in August 2009. Despite federal support, the company is laying off 70%...

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, center, tours Abound Solar's plant in Colorado in August 2009. Despite federal support, the company is laying off 70%... View Enlarged Image

Green Energy: Another stimulus-backed solar panel maker, one the president touted in a weekly radio address, lays off most of its workers. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

President Obama is the Little Orphan Annie of presidents. He is always singing that the sun will come out tomorrow and shine on the American economy and his dreams of green energy. Yet companies such as Solyndra have proved the rule rather than the exception, producing more pink slips than green jobs as solar power and alternative energy continue to be eclipsed by advances in fossil fuel production.

The latest casualty is Abound Solar Manufacturing. The Longmont, Colo.-based recipient of a $400 million federal loan guarantee to expand solar panel production said Tuesday it is laying off 280 workers and delaying a new factory in Indiana. That amounts to a 70% reduction in its workforce.

The company says it's merely restructuring. "We are facing tough market conditions and falling prices," said Steve Abely, Abound's chief financial officer, in remarks eerily reminiscent of Solyndra's last will and financial testament.

Lost in the tap-dancing verbiage is the simple fact that solar power is not financially competitive without subsidies like Abound and Solyndra have received.

This is a far cry from the bright future painted by the president in his weekly radio address of July 3, 2010. Touting his push for a clean energy economy, Obama said Abound would "manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs" at plants in Indiana and Colorado.

Apparently Abound was not helped by last July's $9.2 million Export-Import Bank loan to support exports of thin-film solar photovoltaic modules from Abound Solar to Punj Lloyd Solar Power Ltd., a company in India building a five-megawatt solar project on a 62.5-acre site near the village of Bap.

In a January report, Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News counted at least 12 clean energy companies that were having trouble after collectively being approved for more than $6.5 billion in federal assistance. Five have filed for bankruptcy: the junk bond-rated Beacon, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, AES' subsidiary Eastern Energy and the infamous Solyndra.

"Hindsight is always 20-20," Obama said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News. "It went through the regular review process. And people felt like this (Solyndra) was a good bet." As this latest in a string of green energy flops shows, the president has quite a green energy gambling addiction.

Fact is, the administration had warnings about Solyndra from private ratings agencies such as Price Waterhouse Coopers and from the Office of Management and Budget that the deal was "not ready for prime time."

The administration also had warnings about other such companies, yet proceeded either out of ideological blindness or to reward campaign donors, such as George Kaiser, who were heavily invested in such firms.

First Solar was the biggest S&P 500 loser in 2011, and its CEO was cut loose — even as taxpayers were forced to back a whopping $3 billion in company loans.

Read the rest here.


 Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

6/1/12 - All Green Thumbs - Voters realize that the benefits of renewable energy aren’t worth the costs

All (Green) Thumbs 
Voters realize that the benefits of renewable energy aren’t worth the costs.

By Jonah Goldberg

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The president speaks on energy policy in February 2009.

 

Jonah Goldberg 

It was interesting while it lasted. But it looks as if the “green revolution” has entered the long slide into “What was all that about?”

In January, the Spanish government ended absurdly lavish subsidies for its renewable-energy industry, and the renewable-energy industry all but imploded. You could say it was never a renewable-energy industry at all. It was a government-subsidy industry where in exchange for creating conscience-soothing but otherwise inefficient windmills and solar panels, the government gave the makers piles of cash consumers never would have. 

“They destroyed the Spanish market overnight with the moratorium [on subsidies],” European Wind Energy Association CEO Christian Kjaer told Bloomberg News.

The reason the Spanish example is so important is that it demonstrates how the whole green-energy “revolution” was really an ideologically driven green boondoggle from the start. 

At the beginning of his administration, President Obama insisted that if we didn’t follow their lead, we would surrender the hugely profitable renewable-energy sector to those sagacious Spaniards. In 2009, researchers at King Juan Carlos University found that Spain had destroyed 2.2 jobs in other industries for every green job it had created. The researchers also calculated that the Spanish government had spent more than half a million euros for each green job created since 2000, and wind-industry jobs cost more than 1 million euros apiece.

When asked about the study, then–White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded that he hadn’t read it, but “it seems weird that we’re importing wind-turbine parts from Spain in order to build — to meet renewable-energy demand here if that were even remotely the case.”

Let’s cut Gibbs & Co. some slack. These were the days before the White House learned there were no shovel-ready jobs, before it discovered that its “investments” in companies like Solyndra were little better than shoveling taxpayer dollars into an industrial mulcher. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Gibbs would find it “weird” that our own domestic phylum of subsidy-seeking suckerfish might want to buy Spain’s artificially cheap products in a scheme to feed off domestic subsidies here at home.

The evidence that this administration put cronyism and ideology ahead of reality is all around us. “Since 2009,” reports the Wall Street Journal, “the Obama administration has awarded more than $1 billion to American companies to make advanced batteries for electric vehicles. Halfway to a six-year goal of producing one million electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, auto makers are barely at 50,000 cars.” Well, that leaves just 950,000 cars to go.

Obama believed he was smart enough to start whole new industries simply by sluicing taxpayer dollars into the right maws. Any suggestion that the transition to inefficient energy sources might come at a cost to taxpayers or economic growth was derided as a “false choice.”

It seems as if Obama at least understands the tough choices he faces. In 2009, the president’s Earth Day message was stridently dedicated to climate change. In 2012, it didn’t even mention the word “climate.” The administration wants everyone to believe it supports “fracking” and natural-gas development. When Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he prefers high gasoline prices, the administration all but defenestrated the guy. Much to the chagrin of the green lobby, Obama will not be attending this year’s Earth Summit. Heck, the current picture on the White House’s energy and environment page even shows Obama happily walking past a stack of oil pipes. Subtle.

Yes, Obama threw a bone to the greens on the Keystone pipeline, but he more quietly opened up the Alaskan Arctic to new oil development, granting Shell permits to drill offshore. 

“We never would have expected a Democratic president — let alone one seeking to be ‘transformative’ — to open up the Arctic Ocean for drilling,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, told the New York Times.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/301479/all-green-thumbs-jonah-goldberg

Now, I have no doubt that Obama’s course correction is entirely political. For instance, if he hadn’t approved the Arctic drilling, Shell almost surely would have sued the administration for the billions it has spent developing its Arctic leases. That’s not the kind of lawsuit Obama would want in an election year.

But saying Obama has caved to political reality doesn’t change the fact that political reality is largely a function of economic reality. In Europe and America alike, voters increasingly recognize that the benefits of the green revolution aren’t worth the costs, particularly when the revolutionaries don’t have a clue what they’re doing. The only question for voters is whether Obama has really learned his lesson, or whether he plans on reverting to type if reelected.

— Jonah Goldberg is the author of the new book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him by e-mail at JonahsColumn@aol.com, or via Twitter 

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/301479/all-green-thumbs-jonah-goldberg

 

 

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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