Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden’s energy plan touts that his energy and climate agenda will create ‘clean’ energy jobs. His website states:
“We need millions of construction, skilled trades, and engineering workers to build a new American infrastructure and clean energy economy. These jobs will create pathways for young people and for older workers shifting to new professions, and for people from all backgrounds and all communities.”
What Biden does not tell you is that he has already tried to develop green jobs and failed miserably. On February 17, 2009, Biden and then-President Barack Obama signed their $787 billion stimulus legislation, emphasizing its green-jobs provisions. Biden, as point man on the bill, promised it would create over 5 million jobs. The intent was to create a new, “clean energy” economy and “green jobs.” The plan was to invest $150 billion over 10 years that would advance a “clean-energy” economy built around biofuels, hybrid cars, low-emission coal plants, and renewable sources such as solar and wind. Sound familiar?
On September 30, 2011, Obama/Biden’s Department of Labor issued the first of four reports on the Green Jobs Program. The first report was titled “Recovery Act: Slow Pace Placing Workers into Jobs Jeopardizes Employment Goals of the Green Jobs Program.” Its findings were:
- Nearly three-fourths of the way through, only 61 percent of the target level of participants had signed up for training;
- Job placement was only 10 percent of the target level; and
- Only 1,336 participants retained employment for at least 6 months–just 2 percent of the targeted employment retention of 69,717 participants.
On October 12, 2012, a follow-up report was issued titled, “Recovery Act: Green Jobs Program Reports Limited Success in Meeting Employment and Retention Goals as of June 30, 2012.” The results were:
- Over 20 percent of certificates and degrees went to recipients who had only one day of training;
- About half of those completing the Green Jobs program received five or fewer days of training;
- Between 24 percent and 44 percent of the employment outcomes could not be documented; and
- The number of trainees who entered employment was less than 40 percent of the target.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produced the other two reports. Using BLS data, the low growth in green employment resulted in a redefinition of what constituted a “green job,” with the following outcomes:
- The largest green-jobs category was “janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners,” which had 56,700 green jobs–nearly 10 times as many green jobs as in “civil engineers,” which has the highest number of green jobs in the “architecture and engineering occupations” super-category.
- The septic tank and portable toilet servicing industry had 33 times as many “green” jobs as did solar electricity utilities.
- There were more green jobs selling used merchandise, as in thrift stores, than in engineering services.
Even the new redefined green jobs did not reach the 5 million promised in February 2009. According to a study by the Brookings Institution, the Obama/Biden Administration identified nearly 2.7 million green jobs and most were bus drivers, sewage workers and other types of work that do not fit the “green jobs of the future” that Obama/Biden promised. Most of them were pre-existing jobs which were simply re-characterized by the government apparently in an effort to boost the numbers of “green jobs.”
Biden is promising to repeat the Obama-Biden legacy of failed green jobs, but this time he intends to spend much more taxpayer money in what will again likely be a failed enterprise. He plans to spend $2 trillion that could be better used to assist the economy in its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. Meanwhile, his proposals to wring fossil fuels out of the U.S. economy where they supply 80 percent of the energy supply would be hugely disruptive to the jobs of millions who owe their livelihoods to U.S.-produced energy. Americans need to recover from the pandemic, return to jobs, and feed their families. Being retrained for clean-energy jobs is far from their minds as the holiday season approaches and families want to participate in traditional festivities and afford to put food on the table and gifts under the tree for their loved ones.