Fiscal Non-Feasibility: Let’s Focus on the Real Problem with the Green Jobs Czar (the Mission)

Stephen Spruiell over at The Corner on National Review brings up something that has troubled me for a while: green jobs cannot exist outside of the vacuum of government subsidies and mandates. In fact, he points out that their survival is dubious even with such props and cudgels.

To buy into the “green jobs” scam, you must have an unshakeable faith in the ability of the government to create a viable industry from whole cloth, because there is no commercial demand for the services these green-collar workers would provide. We don’t have to guess about the future of green jobs; we can look to the ethanol industry.
In 2005, after decades of subsidization, the government finally mandated the consumption of ethanol. It upped the mandate in 2007. This, plus high gas prices, was the boost the industry was looking for. Ethanol plants started springing up all over the Midwest.
Corn prices went up to meet the government-mandated demand for ethanol. Then oil prices fell, bringing the price of ethanol down with it. The industry’s profit-margins disappeared. VeraSun, one of the largest ethanol makers, is in Chapter 11. Last December, the industry asked Congress for a bailout.

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David Bourbon
14 years ago

I worked with the NAHB Research Foundation on an energy conservation feasibility study for the Carter administration in 1974. We surveyed homeowners to determine which steps they would be willing to take to weatherize their homes to conserve energy. When oil prices decreased and supply increased (when the gas line disappeared,) the study went on the shelf. Recent events have mirrored this scenario.
Not until oil, gas, and electricity have risen to an unacceptable price for most people will the individual citizen sign on to green building or any other program to reduce energy demand. Current adopters are in it because of one of three reasons:
• They want to save money
• They want to save the planet
• It’s the latest fad.
America only responds to a crisis, and to most people, we’re not there even now.

14 years ago

Monique, Ethanol replaced methyl tert-butyl ether, also known as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) which had been used to fulfill the oxygenate requirements required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAA). MTBE was found to be a carcinogenic (cancer) groundwater pollutant in the U.S.A. and its use was banned by many states. Did you know New England states has one of the highest cancer rates in nation? However there are problems with ethanol in that it attracts water and can lead to damage within the engines in the long run. E10 is the most popular blend being 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol Problem was that after MTBE was banned there was a high demand for ethanol and a lot of corn growers on the mainland thought they were going to make a killing selling corn to the proposed ethanol refinery plants taking their crops out of market plus the proposed ethanol refinery plants that were to be constructed thought they would make a killing refining, selling ethanol to the gasoline companies. It was nothing but pure greed driving up the price of corn making new ethanol refinery plants unsustainable and because so much corn was being removed from the normal feedstock and food markets, the prices of all the other goods, and services related to corn based products rose tremendously. In Hawaii, the most imported oil dependent state in the nation with highest electric rates in the nation has been working on a plan to integrate alternate energy systems and also protect natural and visual resources to reduce its oil dependence statewide by 70% utilizing a number of state of the art and old school tried and tested alternate energy initiatives thereby creating a vibrant expanding green job sector without federal government funding. State of Hawaii has a… Read more »

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