Unsustainable, taxpayer-funded “green jobs” focus of Senate Finance hearing today

Washington, DC – As part of the ongoing efforts in the US Senate to enact sweeping, energy-rationing legislation, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing today entitled “Climate Change Legislation: Considerations for Future Jobs.” Following the hearing, Thomas J. Pyle, president of the non-partisan, market-oriented Institute for Energy Research (IER), issued this statement:

“There is perhaps nothing more misleading surrounding the ongoing global warming debate than claims that cap-and-trade legislation will be a jobs boon and will spur economic activity. Look no further than the DeSoto Solar Center in Florida — a Florida Power and Light installation. On his recent visit, President Obama touted the center as the ‘largest solar field in the United States.’ However, the president failed to mention that the panels and other items were all manufactured abroad. The solar cells came from the Philippines; the steel mountings from Canada; the electric boxes from Germany. And how many ‘green jobs’ have been created there? Two full-time employees, six part-time groundskeepers that will work one week a month during the rainy season.

“Cap and trade backers often cite European countries, like Spain and Germany, as a model for the US follow. Yet both of these nations have failed miserably at delivering affordable and reliable energy and creating jobs. Spain’s government has committed more than $753,000 per ‘green job’ over the past 9 years. And in Germany, per worker annual taxpayer subsidies have reached $240,000. Beware of the politician promising you a green job in one hand because he is pick-pocketing you with the other.

“Washington must craft comprehensive energy policies that do not empower Congress or bureaucrats to determine which energy forms win or lose in the market. Cap and trade aims to increase the cost of our most affordable, abundant and reliable energy forms, including coal, oil and natural gas. With unemployment now at a 26-year high, raising energy costs across the board and making it more difficult for us to compete in the global economy is not the right solution to help put Americans back to work.”

READ MORE: Key experts from a recent Washington Post article entitled “Painting a street green hasn’t stimulated one new job”:

In Baltimore, the 300 block of East 23 1/2 Street is getting patched up in time for winter. One economic stimulus program is paying to insulate 11 rental rowhouses, another is paying for furnaces and a third is covering the cost for reflective roofs to be installed by prison inmates in a job-training program.

The block is part of one of the biggest initiatives ever undertaken by the federal government, a nationwide push to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. But as the national unemployment rate crosses into the double digits and Republicans question the stimulus program’s impact, the work on East 23 1/2 — even with all of its activity — has so far not produced a single job.

For additional information, please contact Patrick Creighton, 202-621-2947, or Laura Henderson, 202-621-2951.


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