"Green" Jobs No Longer Golden in Stimulus
September 13, 2010
After months of hype about the potential for green energy to stimulate job growth and lead the economy out of a recession, the results turned out to be disappointing, if not dismal, says the Washington Times.
- About $92 billion -- more than 11 percent -- of Mr. Obama's original $814 billion of stimulus funds were targeted for renewable energy projects.
- Only about $20 billion of the allotted funds have been spent -- the slowest disbursement rate for any category of stimulus spending.
- Private analysts are skeptical of White House estimates that the green funding created 190,700 jobs.
- The Department of Energy estimated that 82,000 jobs have been created and has acknowledged that as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion of manufacturing tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in countries including China, South Korea and Spain, rather than in the United States.
Despite the massive infusion of government funding in recent years, renewable technologies have captured only a tiny share of the energy market and remain heavily dependent on government funding to be viable, says the Times.
- Samuel Sherraden, an economic analyst at the New America Foundation, said the problem with job leakage overseas promised only to get worse because governments in Europe and Japan -- which in years past spent lavishly on renewable energy -- now are drastically cutting back their green subsidies as they try to pare enormous budget deficits.
- With the United States left as the only major developed country still flooding the market with government funding, competition from overseas suppliers promised to be fiercer than ever.
- "It is impossible to guarantee that clean energy stimulus is not leaked abroad," he said. "We have to recognize that we are funding job creation programs in Germany, Spain, Japan and China," Mr. Sherraden said.
Source: Patrice Hill, "'Green' jobs no longer golden in stimulus," Washington Times, September 9, 2010.
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