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Spanish Prof. to Congress: Avoid Spain’s Failed Experiment with “Green Jobs”

Academic draws attention to the rise, fall and outright collapse of Spanish green jobs bubble

WASHINGTON – Spanish professor Gabriel Calzada appeared before the US House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming this afternoon to discuss his country’s failed experiment in directing more than $40 billion in taxpayer funding toward the promotion of so-called “green jobs.” Calzada’s research found that for every “green job” the Spanish government created, more than two others were squandered away as an opportunity cost on the broader economy. Today, Reuters reported that “some economists warn the Spanish unemployment rate could reach 20 percent next year and remain over that level until 2012.”

Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), a free market energy think tank, issued this statement in response:

“Professor Calzada’s real-world perspective and rigorous academic investigation of Spain’s failed renewable energy mandates should send a serious wake-up call to Congress. His groundbreaking research on the extent to which a green jobs-focused economy program can actually lead to fewer jobs, and billions in squandered resources, has without question helped move the needle of this debate in the right direction.

“Allowing the government to mandate, limit, subsidize – and ultimately select — who wins in our future energy economy and who does not is an economic policy that history has shown cannot succeed. Thanks to Dr. Calzada, we know that a similar program has failed in Spain, leaving nearly 20 percent of that nation’s people without work. To install a similar system here in the United States would not only be a mistake, it’d represent the willful destruction of the future U.S. economy.”

NOTE: Calzada was quoted in yesterday’s Washington Post:

“What they’re talking about now — creating a new sustainable economic model through alternative energy — is going to be exactly the opposite of sustainable,” said Gabriel Calzada, a Spanish economist and critic of the government’s alternative energy policy. “You’re only going to create more distortion, more bubbles. It isn’t going to work.”


Testimony: Gabriel Calzada Álvarez, PhD, before House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, September 24, 2009

Blog: The NREL’s Flawed White Paper on the Spanish Green Jobs Study

Press Release: Let the Inquisition Begin

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


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