Myths About Green Energy: The Truth Is, It’s Corporate Welfare That Destroys American Jobs

by Hans Bader on May 28, 2010

in Blog

In The Washington Post, Robert Bryce debunks five myths about green energy: it won’t create jobs, won’t help the environment, and won’t make America less dependent on despotic foreign regimes.

The $800 billion stimulus package is using taxpayer subsidies to replace U.S. jobs with foreign green jobs. It is also destroying jobs in America’s export sector.

The global warming legislation backed by President Obama would also drive jobs overseas, since it would impose a costly cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme on American industry, while leaving foreign plants operated by multinational corporations unregulated.  That’s one reason why many big companies with plants overseas are lobbying for the global-warming legislation, which would give them an advantage over competitors that make their products largely in America.

Although Obama and other backers of this “cap-and-trade” concept claim it will cut greenhouse gas emissions, it may perversely increase them by driving industry overseas to places with fewer environmental regulations, resulting in dirtier air, and damage to forests and water supplies.   It would enrich politically-connected corporations, and result in massive destruction of the world’s forests.   By expanding ethanol subsidies and mandates, it would cause enormous “damage to water supplies, soil health and air quality.” Ethanol subsidies have already resulted in forests being destroyed in the Third World.

The Washington Examiner earlier explained how the global-warming bill backed by Obama will lead to deforestation, and thus increase greenhouse gas emissions in the long run.  Obama’s so-called “cap-and-trade” bill is full of pay-offs for special interests.

Such cap-and-trade energy rationing schemes would lead to big tax increases, administration officials privately have conceded, even though they publicly claim otherwise.  “Officials at the Treasury Department think cap-and-trade legislation would cost taxpayers hundreds of billion in taxes, according to internal documents circulated within the agency and provided to The Washington Times” by CEI.  It could raise household taxes by $1761 per year, equivalent to a 15 percent tax increase.   It would also result in “loss of steel, paper, aluminum, chemical, and cement manufacturing jobs.”

Obama earlier admitted that “under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” since its costs would be passed “on to consumers.”

Citizens would be wise not to trust Obama’s utopian claims about mythical green jobs, given that the foreign green jobs programs he seeks to imitate have completely failed.  Obama’s past claims about job-creation have turned out to be false. Obama falsely claimed that the $787 billion stimulus package was needed to prevent “irreversible decline,” but the Congressional Budget Office admitted that it would actually shrink the economy “in the long run”.  Unemployment has skyrocketed past European levels, as big-spending countries have fared worse than thrifty ones.  As the Examiner notes, “If his stimulus program was approved, Obama promised, unemployment would not go above 8 percent . . . The reality is that it passed 10.3 percent.”  In 2008, Obama promised a “net spending cut,” but as soon as he was elected, he proposed massive spending increases.
Dr. Doug L. Hoffman May 28, 2010 at 10:01 am

I agree fully, green energy is not a solution to the world's energy woes. Wind power in particular is getting greenwashed and simply cannot deliver on the promises being made for it. On top of that, the eco-activist crowd is almost in a frenzy over the Gulf oil spill. The truth is humans account for less than half the oil released into the ocean. In fact, offshore drilling can actually reduce natural seepage, lowering total contamination. For details see the links below:

Ethan Bignel June 15, 2010 at 4:04 am


Occasional Viewer May 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

"Green jobs" is a complete scam.

Pierre Champagne May 31, 2010 at 11:31 am

The Washington Post analysis is simplistic and one sided.

Cap-and-trade or stimulus packages are not the best or only alternative for global warming. See A Structural Market Strategy: Renewable Energy, Carbon Emissions, Resource Conservation, Toxic Chemicals, etc..

It is a more market-integrated strategy and would benefit all countries. New markets for economic growth are green… If the US does not develop the goods and technologies for them, it will miss major opportunities.

Truth seeker June 2, 2010 at 7:55 am

Waves of the Future's "structural market strategy" does not provide a workable economic model. It's just failure by a different name.

complaints and consu June 3, 2010 at 12:24 am

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