May 27, 2009
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In España, Veritas: Pres. Clinton Concedes Spain’s Green Jobs Program “Has Cost Many Jobs”

Former president channels Prof. Gabriel Calzada in delivering veiled rebuke of Obama’s Spanish-inspired green jobs plan

Washington, DC – Spain’s decade-long program to subsidize the creation and continued existence of so-called green jobs through a massive infusion of taxpayer resources “has cost many jobs,” former President Bill Clinton admitted to a Spanish audience at the European University of Madrid this week, according to the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo (a translated version of the piece can be found below).

The statement mirrors closely the findings of a recent study authored by Professor Gabriel Calzada of Spain, a report that has attracted attention in the United States as the current president continues to cite Spain as a model to be followed in promoting a similar green jobs plan here at home.

In response to former President Clinton’s comments, Institute for Energy Research (IER) president Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement:

“Though efforts continue to be made in the United States to discredit the Spanish green jobs study, and even personally attack its author, President Clinton’s affirmation of its core findings serves as just the latest reminder that the facts are what they are – and they aren’t pretty. More than 10 years and nearly $40 billion in public investment later, Spain still only acquires less than one percent of its power from solar, and the vast majority of the so-called green jobs created by the government to support that industry are no longer in existence today. If this is the model for near-term economic growth and long-term energy security that President Obama envisions for our country, we may be in for a longer, more severe recession than we know.”

Please find below the translated version of the El Mundo article:

Clinton: Green Energy “Has Cost Many Jobs”

J. G. Gallego/C. Caballero
El Mundo, p. 46
May 23, 2009

Madrid — Former US President turned ecologist Bill Clinton is aware of the impact on employment by the development on renewable energy. Even though he is, as a former dweller of the White House, one of the most visible supporters in that industry, the US Democrat recognized yesterday that clean energies “have cost many jobs” in Spain.

Though without citing it directly, Clinton was acknowledging yesterday during his conference in Madrid that the study about the impact of public support on renewable energies, released by Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, has very valid conclusions.

That report, which has received enormous coverage in US media and been used against Barack Obama’s energy policy, argues that every job in renewable energies created in Spain in the year 2000 has cost 571138 Euros and has been the cause of the loss of 2.2 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

Bill Clinton recognized yesterday that “this commitment to clean energy has cost many jobs” while at the same time calling for Spain to intensify investment in this industry to be able to turn high costs into new jobs.

NOTE: Former President Clinton’s comments in Madrid making the link between “green” government intervention and the hemorrhaging of jobs and opportunity follows a statement he made last year in which he suggested that “we just have to slow down our economy … because we’ve got to save the planet for our grandchildren.”

More from IER on the fallacy and unintended consequences of “green jobs”:

Spanish Report: Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources

Study: Green Jobs: Fact or Fiction?

Study: Seven Myths about Green Jobs

Blog: Green Jobs That Nobody Wants

Blog: It Takes a Lot of Government Green to Create a Green Job

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


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