The so-called $787 billion “stimulus” package is creating some “green jobs” — this we’re certain. Unfortunately, though, many of these taxpayer-supported jobs are not in the United States. In fact, a billion hard-earned (and borrowed) U.S. tax dollars are being directed to create jobs in China, of all places. Some stimulus, huh?
And at the same time, top Administration officials have worked hand-in-glove to ensure that the same bad actors – who were to be the beneficiaries of billions in tax dollars through the stimulus’ “green jobs” slush fund – secure even more carve-outs, special favors, and sweetheart deals. Why? It’s quite simple. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), or “Big Wind,” understands full well that in order to exist, the wind industry must continue to receive massive streams of taxpayer handouts.
Top Energy Dept. Officials, “Big Wind” in Cahoots
Chicago Tribune: “Questions swirl around wind-jobs studies … The [Spanish] study, funded by a free-market think tank with links to the fossil fuel industry, calculated that government subsidies for the wind-power industry killed more jobs than they created, because the subsidies drained money from the (more efficient) private sector. … Climate activists scheduled a conference call to discuss how to refute the Spanish researcher’s claims. The group included officials from the American Wind Energy Association – a wind industry trade group, known as AWEA, which spent millions of dollars lobbying last year in Washington. The call also included researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of the Energy Department. … “AWEA policy people are quite concerned.” A [Energy Dept.] colleague replied: “We need to come up with an appropriate response to these criticisms soon. I just spoke to a few people at AWEA about this.” … Emails show the Laboratory researchers shared a draft of those findings with officials from the wind industry group before the white paper was published. “ (3/3/10)
Washington Examiner: “Obama administration colluded with ‘windmill welfare queens’ to rebut European ‘green job’ studies … “Windmill welfare queens” — the corporations who stand to benefit from carbon regulation, and who already benefit from massive subsidies — are telling Americans that they can “have their cake and eat it too” when it comes to emissions controls and so-called “green jobs.” A FOIA request now reveals that as the Obama administration scrambled to respond last year to strong evidence that “green jobs” are a massive an economic drain, costing 570,000 Euros apiece, Department of Energy officials relied heavily on Big Wind and its monied backers. …the Left in government and the rent-seeking corporations who make their money not by producing anything, but by putting their hands in the next guy’s pocket.” (3/4/10)
American Thinker: “Obama administration protecting the ‘green’ investments of its friends … Crony capitalism is alive and well in Barack Obama’s Washington. … Green energy promoters are raking in our tax dollars, often for wasteful “investments .” … Now comes word that the Obama administration’s Department of Energy has engaged in some “monkey business” to rebut a study that showed investments in wind energy costs far more jobs than they create. A Spanish university study had calculated that government subsidies for the wind power industry killed more jobs because they diverted money from more efficient private businesses. … The Obama administration’s attack on the Spanish study was written by two non-economist, pro-wind activists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This is a part of the Department of Energy and is overseen by Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi , who previously served as the CEO of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. Al has a pal to protect his vast investments in renewable energy.” (3/4/10)
The Hill: “Senior Republican seeks info on Energy Department, clean energy group secret talks … Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) wants to know the extent to which Energy Department officials talked to supporters of clean energy subsidies before DoE published an unusual rebuttal to a study critical of green job programs. He fired off a letter to a DoE official on Wednesday asking a series of pointed questions about discussions between government officials and groups like the American Wind Energy Association and the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank run by White House confidant John Podesta. … A recently released batch of emails showing possible collaboration between DoE and a group whose members stand to benefit from clean energy subsidies won’t help. … The controversy seemed largely over until the release this week of emails, obtained by a free-market think tank through public records laws, that suggest some measure of cooperation among DoE officials and representatives from AWEA, CAP, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.” (3/4/10)
CEI’s Chris Horner on Pajamas Media: “‘Anti-Lobbyist’ Obama Administration Recruited Left-Wing Lobbyists to Sell Bogus ‘Green Jobs’ … 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. … 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. … 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. … 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).” (3/3/10)
The Hill: “Spanish jobs spat revisited … The Competitive Enterprise Institute, used public records laws to obtain emails showing NREL shared its response with groups supporting renewable energy policy, like the American Wind Energy Association, before releasing the rebuttal publicly.” (3/3/10)
Reason: “Restoring Science to Its Rightful Place — Shilling for Green Jobs … Last year, a study released by researchers at Spain’s King Juan Carlos University found that subsidized green jobs were an economic black hole. … The green lobbyists just knew the study must be wrong and breathed huge satisfied sigh of relief when a new study refuting the JCU study was produced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Science had once again triumphed over rightwing anti-science ideology – green jobs forever! But some cynical people were suspicious of the provenance of the NREL study. So they filed a Freedom on Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Energy to see how the study came about. It turns out that it was vetted by the renewable energy industry, specifically the lobbyists at the American Wind Energy Association.” (3/3/10)
Washington Post: “Wind industry influenced DOE report … The Chicago Tribune first reported the connection, which came to light after the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute gave the paper the results of its Freedom of Information Act request. The controversy centers on the Aug. 1 white paper, “National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Response to the Report ‘Study of the Effects on the Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources’ from King Juan Carlos University (Spain).” (3/3/10)
That’s a Great Question: “What, exactly, is a ‘green’ job?”
IER’s Robert Murphy on The Daily Caller: “What, exactly, is a ‘green’ job? … By their very nature, government-created green jobs are unsustainable. If they weren’t, it wouldn’t take government mandates or billions in taxpayer subsidies to create them in the first place – and it certainly wouldn’t take billions more to sustain them. … The Spanish embarked on the world’s most aggressive renewables program – President Obama specifically praised it soon after his inauguration as a model for his own agenda. Yet, as the Spanish government faced budget difficulties, it was forced to rein in its support for renewables. … Apparently, even this monumental handout wasn’t enough to sustain those jobs: The Spanish bubble popped, and today the country is wracked with an unemployment rate on the doorstep of 20 percent. … For every “green” job the government “creates” in one area, it destroys a real job somewhere else. But the whole charade isn’t simply a wash, because government green jobs policies make the economy less productive. They raise prices – especially for energy – across the board and make consumers poorer.” (3/3/10)
Iain Murray on NRO: “Green-Jobs Fantasy … Germany and Spain went down the green-jobs road many years ago, for much the same reasons as the administration. They saw it as a way to make their countries world leaders in coming technologies, provide good jobs to replace decaying industries, and insulate against energy shocks originating overseas. It didn’t work out that way. … The story is the same in Spain, which set out to be the world leader in solar technology. A study by a team from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid led by Gabriel Calzada Alvarez found that the opportunity costs of public investment in renewable energy were very high, resulting not just in significant numbers of jobs destroyed or never created, but in unsustainable bubbles in the renewables sector. … There are already signs that green jobs created in the U.S. are going to be just as expensive as the German and Spanish ones.” (3/4/10)
Orange County Register, Op-Ed: “We need green money, not green jobs … The love affair on the left with “green jobs” is, of course, about ideology, which is why facts are irrelevant. It is another excuse to grow government and bring European socialism to America. … In a Zogby poll done after the presidential election, 73 percent of blacks said they were opposed to taxing fossil fuels to promote alternative energy. The Carter Administration invested $2.1 billion in the Great Plains Coal Gasification Plant to convert coal to gas. The result? Zero. Federal government spending since 1961 on “advanced energy technologies and basic energy science research” totals $187 billion with hardly anything to show. Poor folks don’t need socialism or green jobs. They need green money. They’ll get more of it being free, going to school, getting married and going to work.” (3/3/10)