Over and over again, Team Obama promised that green industries would create millions of jobs after he took office. His administration earmarked billions of dollars for investment in “clean” industry. But no matter how you define a “green” job, the numbers are falling far short of millions of jobs, to say the least. Reuters reports:
The wind industry, for example, has shed 10,000 jobs since 2009 even as the energy capacity of wind farms has nearly doubled, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has added 75,000 jobs since Obama took office, according to Labor Department statistics. . . .One problem is that, unlike other elements of the Recovery Act that injected money into the economy quickly, efforts to develop high-speed rail or electric-car batteries Obama also promoted could take a decade or longer to yield dividends.
Via Meadia is all for research and development and investment in green and clean technologies. We would love it if the coffee pot at the Mead Manor ran on energy from solar panels on the roof, if the editors’ massaging chairs were powered by clean, high-energy batteries, or if our interns didn’t have to pedal mechanical bikes down in the dark blogging basement to power the lights, computers and the executive air conditioning system.But that dream is far off. Green and clean energy technology will at best take years to go mainstream and may never create the jobs Team Obama-Biden promised us. The administration should stop chasing this unicorn as the quick answer to our job woes.The green jobs scam is a policy sleight of hand. If the administration has a green agenda, it needs to bring that out of the closet and wear it with pride. But the green agenda isn’t a jobs agenda. If anything, it is a n0-jobs agenda: it diverted money from economic stimulus that would have created jobs when we needed them in the depths of the recession to ‘invest’ in various schemes that, if they pay off at all, will pay off down the road.The administration has consistently picked green over jobs — and tried to cover that up with the meaningless slogan “green jobs.” Not a good idea, and not a good political talking point for 2012.