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Monday, April 16, 2012

Can We Afford Obama's 'Green Economy'?

We've been exposed to lots of rhetoric.  And predictions.  And promises.  But results?

Grossly non-existent.

From "Analysis: Obama's 'green jobs' have been slow to sprout," we get the truth about Obama's success at achieving his Number One goal as president:
Stretching row upon row into the desert, the Copper Mountain Solar Project not far from Las Vegas provided an impressive backdrop for the president.

Built on public land, the facility is the largest of its kind in the United States. Its 1 million solar panels provide enough energy to power 17,000 homes.

And it employs just 10 people.

Three years after Obama launched a push to build a job-creating "green" economy, the White House can say that more than 1 million drafty homes have been retrofitted to lower heating and cooling costs, while energy generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar has nearly doubled since 2008.

But the millions of "green jobs" Obama promised have been slow to sprout, disappointing many who had hoped that the $90 billion earmarked for clean-energy efforts in the recession-fighting federal stimulus package would ease unemployment - still above 8 percent in March.

Backers of the notion of a "green collar" work force argue that earth-friendly energy is a promising growth sector that could create a bounty of stable, middle-class jobs and fill the gap left by manufacturing work that has moved overseas.

On the campaign trail in 2008, Obama promised that a $150 billion investment would generate 5 million jobs over 10 years.

Obama included $90 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to weatherize drafty buildings, fund electric-car makers and encourage other clean-energy efforts.

"We'll put nearly half a million people to work building wind turbines and solar panels, constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings, and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to new jobs," he said at a wind-turbine plant in Ohio the day before he took office.

In December 2009, Vice President Joe Biden said the effort would create 722,000 green jobs.

The White House said in November 2010 that its clean-energy efforts had generated work for 225,000 people and would ultimately create a total of 827,000 "job years" - implying average annual employment of around 200,000 over the four years of Obama's presidential term.
200,000 jobs. 700,000 jobs. 800,000.

The truth?
The wind industry, for example, has shed 10,000 jobs since 2009 even as the energy capacity of wind farms has nearly doubled, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has added 75,000 jobs since Obama took office, according to Labor Department statistics.

The [government's $500 per trainee job-training] program's initial results were so poor that the Labor Department's inspector general recommended last fall that the agency should return the $327 million that remained unspent.

The numbers have improved somewhat since then, but the department remains far short of its goal of placing 80,000 workers into green jobs by 2013.

By the end of 2011, some 16,092 participants had found new work in a "green" field, according to the Labor Department - roughly one-fifth of its target.

Using a definition similar to the Labor Department's, the Brookings Institution estimated that the Las Vegas region that includes the vast solar fields sprouting around Boulder City supported 9,797 "clean jobs" in 2010, accounting for 1.2 percent of the region's employment.

Local officials don't expect that figure to grow much.

The much-touted home weatherization program has upgraded more than 1 million houses and provided work for about 20,000 people, as well as generating business for suppliers, according to the White House.

But here as well, supply has outpaced demand.
Meanwhile America is starving for affordable energy. The real kind. Fossil-fuel based. The stuff that 99% of us depend on. The kind of energy that Obama and the other members of his monastic "green" cult abhor.

An election is coming up in November. Factor into your voting decision Mr. Hope&Change's success rate at bringing jobs to America with your hard-earned tax dollars.

And send him back to Chicago where his kind are welcome.