NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Green Jobs Promises Dwindle As Policies Backfire

October 8, 2010

Once touted by the Obama administration as the wave of the future, green stimulus programs are rapidly falling out of favor with the administration as jobs fail to materialize, says the Heartland Institute.

  • About $92 billion in taxpayer funds -- more than 11 percent -- of President Obama's original $814 billion stimulus package, enacted in early 2009, went to an assortment of renewable energy projects.
  • But the jobs that were supposed to be created never materialized -- at least not in the United States.
  • According to the White House, last year's stimulus created 190,700 green jobs, but the administration's own Department of Energy puts the figure at only 82,000.
  • Additionally, as much as 80 percent of some green programs, including $2.3 billion in tax credits, went to foreign firms that employed workers primarily in China, South Korea and Spain.

Other problems have arisen.

  • In 2007 the newly elected Democratic Congress and the Bush administration enacted an energy bill which, among other things, provided for the phase-out of traditional incandescent light bulbs.
  • However, their replacement, the compact fluorescent light, can be manufactured much more cheaply in China.
  • As a result, 200 workers at a GE light bulb factory in Winchester, Virginia, recently lost their jobs.

"The public has caught on to the Obama administration's ruse concerning green jobs," says H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.  "Multiple analyses from Europe and the United States show that the expensive, taxpayer-subsidized push for green jobs... costs more jobs than it creates." 

"In addition," Burnett explains, "many of the jobs created by the big green bailout are in China and not the United States."

Source: Bonner R. Cohen, "Green Jobs Promises Dwindle As Policies Backfire," Heartland Institute, October 4, 2010.

 

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