SOTU & Energy: Old Wine In New Bottles

Obama "Green Jobs" Initiatives Still Costly and Wasteful, Says NCPA Expert

DALLAS - The energy agenda President Obama presented in last night's State of the Union address 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," said National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett.  "Instead the President continues to advocate a Washington-picks-the-winner energy and technology policy that will only result in more lost jobs."

Research both in the U.S. and Europe shows that while government can "stimulate" green jobs by throwing money at them, the investment actually results in very little, if any, increase in energy production and lowers energy security and costs more jobs than government subsidies for so-called green jobs creates, Dr. Burnett noted.

"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."

The artificial demand created here and in Europe for alternative energy that has prompted China's decision to invest heavily in those technologies, Burnett pointed out.  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."