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The New York Times today ran its second editorial scolding the Obama Administration for its decision to delay a tightening of ozone standards in response to a lengthy article by John Broder who exhaustively detailed the big players in this decision and their thought processes. Though there are critiques of the science behind the evidence of harm from ozone concentrations of ~75 parts per billion, I’d like to focus on an outcome of the ozone tightening that the NYT implies is nothing but an industry talking point:

This page was not impressed by those arguments then and is no less skeptical of them now in light of John M. Broder’s exhaustive account in The Times on Thursday of the steps that led up to the decision. The article paints a picture of an aggressive campaign by industry lobbyists and heavyweight trade groups like the American Petroleum Institute that began soon after it became clear that Ms. Jackson was determined to tighten the rules governing allowable ozone levels across the country.

The standards governing ozone — the main component of harmful smog — are supposed to be set every five years. But because the standards proposed by the Bush administration in 2008 were seen as inadequate by the scientific community and had been challenged in court, Ms. Jackson decided to set her own standards, tough but achievable. Their health benefits would approximate their costs, and they would not begin to bite for several years, giving industry time to prepare. [click to continue…]

In a front page story today, the Washington Post – of all places! – revealed that unemployment for so-called “green jobs” is pretty darn high.  (See Retrained for green jobs, but still waiting on work by Michael A. Fletcher).  You mean, all the Obama and enviro promises about green jobs being the next, great economic boom were…wrong?  People aren’t voluntarily choosing to pay more for “clean energy”?

Who could have guessed that the Great Green Dream has been “undercut by the simple economic fact that fossil fuels remain cheaper than renewables”?

So, the Obama administration shoveled out $90 billion out of the $814 billion economic stimulus bill for clean energy stuff, like weatherizing public buildings, constructing “advanced” (?) battery plants in the Midwest, financing solar electric plants in the Mojave desert, and training green energy workers.

But the huge federal investment has run headlong into the stubborn reality that the market for renewable energy products – and workers – remains in its infancy.

Well, that can’t be good, all those 90 billion smackeroos just blown on nothing.  So, surely the next step is to pull the plug on this economy-busting boondoggle force people to buy green energy stuff.

Both Obama administration officials and green energy executives say that the business needs not just government incentives, but also rules and regulations that force people and business to turn to renewable energy.

Without government mandates dictating how much renewable energy utilities must use to generate electricity, or placing a price on the polluting carbon emitted by fossil fuels, they say, green energy cannot begin to reach its job creation potential.

I mean, just look at the potential here.  The poor guy profiled in the WaPo story was trained in: solar installation,sustainable landscape design, recycling and green demolition (which has something to do with dismantling buildings, rather than demolishing them).  What if we could just force everyone to dip into their pockets to buy expensive solar stuff, contemplate how sustainable their landscape design could be, and pull apart buildings brick by brick!

With some 7.5 million jobs lost from the US economy since December 2007, it’s astounding to realize there’s a movement afoot to force people to spend money on the green equivalent of ditch-digging make-work.