Green Jobs to Put Us in the Red
Russ Harding is skeptical of the persistent claims about “green jobs” being an economic stimulus:
Economic prosperity requires that we have access to both reliable and affordable energy to heat our homes and power our factories and vehicles. A steep run up in energy costs coincided with an economic recession in the 1970s and is once again a contributing factor to our current economic problems. Alternative energy mandates supposedly will serve as an economic stimulus by creating new jobs such as building wind mills and solar panels.
Claims similar to those being made by Phil Angelides of the Apollo Alliance that the development of clean energy will provide concomitant “growth in jobs, technology, equipment, suppliers and productivity if the United States actually treated the development of clean energy as a national economic priority” conveniently ignore economic realities. Mandating more expensive forms of alternative energy takes money out of the pocket of consumers and drives up business costs, resulting in the loss of jobs. An additional test for the viability of green job economic benefit claims is whether these projects require government subsides or not. If the answer is yes, the end economic results are more likely negative rather than positive.
I’ve no problem with environmentally friendly sources of energy and would much rather live around windmills than coal plants. The thing that concerns me is that expending public money and public effort seeding the industry is essentially a gamble, and the potential risk outweighs the probable costs.