NCPA Expert: Obama's "green jobs" initiatives still costly and wasteful


by Rebecca Torrellas

Source: E&P Magazine

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., one of the country's leading authorities on energy and environmental issues, said President Obama's energy agenda, as presented in his State of the Union address Jan. 25, was short on fiscal discipline but long on increased spending on a Washington-picks-the-winner technology and energy plan.

"Rather than promoting these wasteful efforts at creating green jobs, the president should be calling for a level playing field that treats all sources of energy equally," Burnett said.  "Instead the President continues to advocate a Washington-picks-the-winner energy and technology policy that will only result in more lost jobs."

Burnett said that research in both US and Europe has shown that while governments stimulate green jobs by financially supporting them, the return on investment is minimal, with barely any increase in energy production and lower energy security. He added that it has cost more jobs than government subsidies for so-called green jobs creates.

"These policies cause energy prices to rise and squeeze out less expensive and more reliable sources of energy," Burnett added.  "If Washington continues to politically direct or ‘incentivize' technology research and development, we will continue to suffocate new ideas and fall further behind our competitors."

Burnett pointed out that the artificial demand created in the US and in Europe for alternative energy has prompted China's decision to invest heavily in those technologies. Why? "So they can sell them to us; they now have a virtual monopoly on key elements needed to manufacture green technologies," he said.

"Remember what Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.'" Burnett added.  "What was true about government involvement in agriculture then is even more true about energy policy today."

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