NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Green Energy Jobs Far Short of Obama Goal

May 31, 2012

President Obama has made much of his commitment to green energy as he launches his re-election bid, but the nascent industry has produced far fewer jobs than the president promised, despite massive, repeated infusions of taxpayer dollars, says the Washington Examiner.

The president promised 5 million new energy jobs across the country for an investment of $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy, but he has fallen far short of his own mark.

  • The wind industry has actually lost about 10,000 jobs since 2009, even though it doubled its domestic production, the American Wind Energy Association reports.
  • Obama spent $90 billion of his stimulus package on green energy projects, including weatherization of buildings and development of electric vehicles.
  • Yet, by the end of last year, just 16,100 people landed new jobs in the so-called green industry, Labor Department statistics show, far short of the 200,000 jobs the White House projected it would help create each year.

Administration officials say that laying the foundation for green energy boosts the United States in the long term, even if jobs aren't being created at the pace Obama had promised in the campaign.

Still, with job creation lagging behind his own predictions, Obama's green energy initiatives have provided Republicans with political ammo they have not hesitated to use against him, including the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer that failed despite a $535 million federal loan.

Such failures, Republicans say, prove the government can't pick winners and losers in the private sector.

Source: Brian Hughes, "Green Energy Jobs Far Short of Obama Goal," Washington Examiner, May 26, 2012.

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