Green Jobs

Going "green" has become a cultural buzzword. Growing concerns over climate change have motivated aspirations to create a cleaner, more sustainable, and environmentally-friendly economy. To that end, and in light of the 2007-2009 economic recession, jobs spurring green technology, green manufacturing, and green infrastructure have been touted as a way to address global warming, move us toward energy independence, and increase national security--all while boosting the economy. 

Green jobs are supposed to "'pay decent wages and benefits that can support a family[,] ... reduce waste and pollution and benefit the environment.'" Yet, what makes a job green is actually rather difficult to determine:

"The greenness of jobs even within a single occupation will vary according to the nature of the firm or establishment, the current project or specific work assignment and the specific employer’s workplace rules and policies. Thus, labor market analysts can’t merely count all employees in a particular occupation (much less in an entire industry) as green collar workers. Moreover, the greening of the economy is an evolutionary process (albeit one that is picking up a head of steam). That is, employers in virtually every sector are striving to conserve energy and resources while reducing their carbon footprint and switching from oil-dependence to renewable energy. Arrayed along any of the various dimensions popularly identified as comprising the green movement, there is no current benchmark at which green companies can be separated from non-green ones. Nor is there any useful milestone for deciding at what point in time to move all of a company’s employees from the non-green column to the green column. Therefore, labor market analysts can’t simply count all of the employees of a specific firm as green and employees of other companies in the same industry as non-green."

Nevertheless, legislative efforts to promote green jobs have been made, most prominently with the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, widely known as the "Stimulus." At $92 billion, the funds channeled toward green initiatives comprised more than 11 percent of the total stimulus package. The stimulus funding was premised on the Keynesian idea that government could jump-start massive investments in much-needed alternative sources of energy and, in the process, create millions of new jobs for the nation’s unemployed. Inspired by similar efforts in European countries such as Spain, Italy, Germany, and Denmark, President Obama estimated that the American government, at the cost of $150 billion, could provide 5 million green jobs over the next decade.

The success of these efforts have been debated. Some say the Recovery Act’s $7.2 billion in "clean tech" money may have only "created or retained" 7,140 jobs, but that means each job cost over one million each. Likewise, the experience of the previously mentioned European countries suggests that green jobs programs at the very least require heavy subsidies--in some cases up to $774,000 per job. Moreover, research by Gabriel Calzada Alvarez estimated that each green job in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs in other sectors of the Spanish economy. In Italy, over 60 percent of government-subsidized green jobs were only temporary, meaning workers were unemployed once the green project was completed. 

More fundamentally, some argue that government "pick[ing] winners and losers," even if based on desirable goals, distorts market signals concerning the actual economic viability and efficiency of green products and services. This leads to malinvestments, reduced competition, and higher prices. It also shifts risk from private businesses and investors to taxpayers, thereby privatizing gains and socializing losses. A prime example is the California-based solar firm Solyndra. Solyndra received a government-backed loan for $535 million in 2009, yet went bankrupt two years later, despite public support from political figures such as President Obama himself.

Nonetheless, given the ongoing and burgeoning interest in environmentally sustainable economic growth, furthering the creation of green jobs will continue to be part of public policy debates. Thus, this topic overview presents data and commentary on the viability of green jobs, and also examines the assumptions which underlie them.

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A 'green stimulus' grant of nearly half a million dollars to grow trees in Nevada produced only 1.72 permanent jobs, according to the federal government’s Recovery.gov Web site.

"Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on a former cattle ranch and gypsum mine, NRG Energy is building an engineering marvel: a compound of nearly a million solar panels that will produce enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes.

The project is also a marvel in another, less obvious way: Taxpayers and ratepayers are providing subsidies worth almost as much as the entire...

"The Spanish professor is puzzled. Why, Gabriel Calzada wonders, is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating 'green jobs' in 'alternative energy' even though Spain's unemployment rate is 18.1 percent -- more than double the European Union average -- partly because of spending on such jobs?"

The California-based solar panel manufacturer was the poster child of the Obama administration's much-ballyhooed green jobs campaign and was the recipient of a staggering half billion dollars worth of taxpayer guaranteed loans.

"New revelations continue to surface about the Obama administration's handling of half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees to the now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra.

On Monday, Democrats released a memo that showed some voices inside the White House argued against President Obama's visit to Solyndra in May 2010.

But Solyndra was just one of the clean energy projects and...

"When the government-backed Solyndra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, policymakers supportive of the loan-guarantee program said variations of the following: 'If this were a venture capital firm and only one out of 10 projects failed, they would be a great success.' That would be fine if it were private money, not taxpayer money. But now a second company is going under."

"Armed with tens of billions in loans from the Chinese government, Chinese solar companies have scaled at a rate unthinkable only a few years ago. At the end of this year, there will likely be 50,000 MW of manufacturing capacity in place around the world, with much of that new capacity being developed in China and other Asian countries. (In the year 2000, there was only 100 MW of production...

"The bankruptcy comes about two months after Solyndra -- a solar panel maker with a $535 million loan guarantee -- also filed for Chapter 11, creating a political embarrassment for the administration of President Barack Obama, which has championed the loans as a way to create 'green energy' jobs.

Beacon Power drew down $39 million of its government-guaranteed loan to fund a portion of a...

"A week before President Barack Obama was scheduled to deliver yet another big-think proposal to Get America Working Again, reality intervened with a well-timed smack upside the head: Solyndra, a California solar panel company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy."

Despite the growing Solyndra scandal, yesterday the Department of Energy approved $1 billion in new loans to green energy companies -- including a $737 million loan guarantee to a company known as SolarReserve....

"A privately held start-up that makes solar panels announced today that they would be filing for bankruptcy. The company, Solyndra Inc., received a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy in September 2009. This follows two other bankruptcy announcements by solar start-ups this month. The explanation for these closures has been that world prices for solar products have...

"Calls for a clean-energy system in the U.S. have long met with sticker shock. Now, the cost of making the transition -- hundreds of billions of dollars -- is being touted as a selling point.

President-elect Barack Obama and his energy advisers have been making the case that a multibillion-dollar government investment in everything from wind turbines to a 'smart' electrical grid is just...

In her national radio address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues the strategy of bait and switch on energy.

But are so-called green energy jobs really right when consumers continually chose oil, gas, and coal? This issue is a separate one, but its answer cements the case against government picking energy winners and losers in a free society.

"Thanks to CNBC, the Department of Energy has been caught removing references to 'SunPower,' a solar energy company that was given $1.2 billion in loan guarantees, from old press releases (H/T Hotair).

'The changes occurred in two press releases from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program — the same program that has been the center of controversy surrounding the failed solar...

"Evergreen Solar Inc. said it has failed to find a buyer for its Devens, Mass., plant and plans to walk away from the facility, which was launched with some $50 million in state aid.

The company asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to abandon the property before a $543,000 property tax bill comes due."

"Like generalissimo Francisco Franco, Evergreen Solar spent a long time on its death bed. Deval Patrick’s favorite energy company finally succumbed to Chapter 11 this week. Creditors include the state of Massachusetts, owed $1.5 million in back rent. But it’s likely that as much as $40 million in state subsidies will be lost as well.

Every one of the firm’s death throes has been an...

Solyndra is one of the administration's pet 'green energy' firms. It received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy before its top executives took the Fifth before Congress.

"Green jobs, where are they and how to get them, will be the focus when President Barack Obama's task force on middle-class working families formally begins its work on Friday in Philadelphia.

The panel, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, will hear from experts on the potential to create and fill these jobs."

"First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSLR) today announced completion of the sale of one of the world's largest photovoltaic (PV) solar power projects — the 550-megawatt (AC) Desert Sunlight Solar Farm near Desert Center, Calif.

First Solar — which will continue to build and subsequently operate and maintain the project under separate agreements — has sold the project to affiliates of NextEra...

"First Solar, one of the world’s leading solar-panel makers, announced Tuesday that it will close its German manufacturing operations late this year, indefinitely idle four of its 24 production lines in Kulim, Malaysia, on May 1 [2012] and lay off 2,000 employees — about 30 percent of its global workforce.

The company, which with its thin film panels is the industry leader in...

It appears more are admitting that renewable energy sources are not yet economically viable, while fossil fuel companies continue in their productivity and growth.

An elite Obama fundraiser hired to help oversee the administration’s energy loan program pushed and prodded career Energy Department officials to move faster in approving a loan guarantee for Solyndra....

"We’ve heard this story before.

Much like taxpayer-backed Abound Solar – which just revealed it would declare bankruptcy – General Electric announced last week it would suspend construction of a solar panel manufacturing plant in Colorado. The excuse given was that GE plans to focus on research and development to improve the technology and efficiency of the panels it wants to produce...

Gordon claims there has been much misinformation regarding green jobs. She defends the "green" sector of the economy as positive and growing.

In addition to Solyndra, which the FBI is currently investigating, many other government-subsidized green manufactures have questionable finances and poor prospects for profitability.

According to scholars at the Center for American Progress, "There’s one thing we know for certain about green jobs: They are real, well-paid, and growing. The jobs that make up the clean energy economy are on the rise when jobs in many other sectors are slipping away or moving overseas. With 14 million unemployed Americans, they are a sign of hope in an otherwise stagnant economy."

According to a new CSG report, stimulus-funded green jobs topped 51,700 in the sixth and final quarter of the Recovery Act.

The politically-connected win. Existing job-holders and companies lose. Home electric bills go up. Power also costs more for companies, making it more expensive to go into business or to stay in business.

Unfortunately, there is growing evidence that government support of green industries will cost more jobs than they create.

But the president’s proposal does not consider several major costs of government spending on green jobs, such as the loss of nongreen employment in other sectors of the economy. Indeed, subsidizing green jobs could cause more job losses than gains.

Those pushing restrictions on carbon dioxide (CO2) have tried to repackage global-warming legislation as jobs bills.

"Ordinary people — not just a small fringe group of zealots — are really afraid today. They see the country they adore being attacked at all levels; they see their freedoms under assault, their life savings genuinely in jeopardy, an endlessly anemic economy, a longer period of sustained unemployment than we've experienced in a half-century and a national financial crisis, born of world-...

"What's a green job? Manufacturing, delivering and installing clean energy technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels. Renovating buildings and energy systems to make them more efficient and save money. Installing glass in energy efficient windows. Making batteries for hybrid cars. The list goes on.

These are the clean energy manufacturing jobs that will get America working...

"For a while, there has been a strain of center-left American commentary that has viewed China's leaders as some kind of technocratic super-geniuses who have done a much better job of guiding their society than the loons and hacks who would actually, you know, be voted for. Call this the Tom Friedman school of thought.

In reality, China's leaders have a tendency to fall for a lot of the...

Christopher Helman favorably profiled Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser‘s 'green' energy agenda. Yes, solar-panel-maker Solyndra recently went belly up, leaving 1,100 people out of work and the federal government with a half-billion-dollar liability.

"Despite a challenging economic outlook, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the American economy – including $396 billion in wages – over the next four years (2009-2013), according to a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton. The study also determined that green construction spending currently supports more than 2...

"The Task Force on Middle Class Working Families is to be composed of members of the cabinet such as the heads of the education, commerce and labor departments and outside groups that is to travel around the country to determine how, Mr. Biden said, it can make 'lives for our working class better.'

The first meeting of the task force will be held Feb. 27 in Philadelphia and will focus...

The Obama administration is mistaken to think government can foster a green jobs economy. In order to fund green jobs, government must extract wealth from other sectors and taxpayers. In fact, more is ultimately extracted than created.

"Last Friday, Vice President Joe Biden and seven White House Cabinet members traveled to Philadelphia to kick off the inaugural gathering of President Barack Obama's Middle Class Task Force. The task force will convene monthly in cities across the country to confront the problems faced by average Americans. It's an admirable goal — in light of rising costs, stagnant wages and job cuts, a Pew...

"Beacon Power Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy late last week, was the recipient of a $43 million loan guarantee from the Energy Department. Campaign contribution information from Open Secrets shows that Beacon Power's CEO F. William Capp donated to both Barack Obama and two Massachusetts Democrats.

Capp donated $500 to to Obama's 2008 campaign, as well as $500 to...

"When Energy Secretary Stephen Chu announced a half-billion dollars in federal stimulus loans to solar panel maker Solyndra, he called the move part of an aggressive effort to put more Americans to work and end U.S. dependence on foreign oil. But nearly two years to the day later, the bankrupt Solyndra needs help just to keep it own electricity service from being shut off."

The spectacular collapse of Solyndra has all of the trappings of an epic Washington scandal, with serial revelations of embarrassing and potentially improper White House machinations to secure a $535 million federal loan guarantee for a startup company with dubious prospects of success.

"The White House faced mounting political complications as a second top fundraiser for President Obama was linked to a federal loan guarantee program that backed a now-bankrupt Silicon Valley solar energy company, and as two California lawmakers called for investigations of a state tax break granted to the firm.

Steve Spinner, who helped monitor the Energy Department's issuance of $25...

The ever vigilant Christopher Horner notes in a piece for BigGovernment.com that Solyndra is based in the Fremont, Calif., district of Rep. Pete Stark. ... Stark played a critical role in squeezing ObamaCare through Congress.

"Many of the problems that forced solar company Solyndra to shutter operations threaten other businesses in the sun-power industry, with more upheaval likely in the coming months, analysts say.

The bankruptcy last month of Fremont, Calif.-based Solyndra comes as solar manufacturing undergoes a major transition. Prices of solar panels have plummeted, causing a supply glut and slicing...

The rolls of green energy subsidies show that beyond a few headline-grabbing cases, several well-connected Democrats obtained taxpayer assistance for environmentally friendly projects.

House Republicans pressed top executives at the failed solar company Solyndra Friday for answers regarding the company’s decision to declare bankruptcy just two years after receiving a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration.

"Solyndra, the solar panel company whose highly publicized failure and consequent investigation by federal authorities has flashed across headlines recently, isn't the only business to go belly up after benefiting from a piece of the $800 billion economic stimulus package passed in 2009.

At least four other companies have received stimulus funding only to later file for bankruptcy, and...

Solyndra’s bankruptcy combines the political corruption of Detroit politics with FMR Governor Jennifer Granholm’s failed clean energy initiatives and packages it into a $535 million disaster that all taxpaying Americans have to pay for.

"A company that served as a showcase for the Obama administration’s effort to create jobs in clean technology shut down Wednesday, leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers obligated for $535 million in federal loans.

Solyndra, a California solar panel maker, had long been an administration favorite. Over the past two years, President Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu each had...

"The bankruptcy of solar-panel maker Solyndra neatly encapsulates the economic, political and intellectual bankruptcy of Barack Obama’s Big Idea. It was the president’s intention back in 2009 to begin centrally reorganizing the U.S. economy around the supposed climate-change crisis."

Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar-energy company that was, before its demise, the poster child for America’s renewable-energy industry and President Obama’s 2009 Recovery Act.

The Obama administration urged officers of the struggling solar company Solyndra to postpone announcing planned layoffs until after the November 2010 midterm elections, newly released e-mails show.

"Three’s quite a bit of back and forth across the political aisle about Solyndra. Does throwing $500 million at a company that failed [to] show that all government tech pump priming is a waste of money? From the other side, well, sure, some will fail but the program as a whole is going to deliver just great results."

"This policy [green jobs] is rooted in the broken planet fallacy, which treats global warming not as an environmental threat to be handled as expeditiously as possible but as an economic opportunity to be milked for all the jobs it can provide."

"The United States, Europe, Japan, and other developed countries are steadily cutting per capita emissions. But there remain contentious divisions about what future cuts are technologically and economically feasible. Going into the talks, the delegates appear to be competing over who can offer the most ambitious and least realistic targets so everyone can return from Copenhagen satisfied that...

"History — of the U.S., Europe, the U.K. and its former dominions — repeatedly shows that environmental protection is a luxury good. When per-capita income reaches some threshold, the citizenry tire of opaque air and sleazy waters, various agencies and permanent bureaucracies sprout, and, as long as times are good, regulation is good."

Rationing carbon and increasing energy costs simply cannot "increase jobs," as some politicians have reported. Perhaps particular workers receive new jobs, but this is at the cost of output and jobs in the overall economy.

"Even if we could find evidence that green energy is more labor intensive than its brown counterpart, that's an argument against green energy."

Since the start of the Obama administration, the green rabbits have a new name: 'green jobs,' for the 5 million green jobs on which the administration campaigned.

"If you get someone to answer the phone at Evergreen Solar, chances are they'll sound pretty down. The few employees left are waiting to see what unfolds as the company goes through the death throes of bankruptcy.

The Massachusetts-based solar company's demise has escaped much national notice as Congress delves into the political controversy surrounding the industry's other big failure...

"I ran into a venture capitalist colleague coming out of Palo Alto's Whole Foods yesterday evening. I mentioned a VC-funded solar startup CEO I had just interviewed, and this VC, let's call him Sanjay, just rolled his eyes and said, 'Solar is done.'"

Bailey reminds us to look for what Bastiat famously called "unseen consequences" when analyzing green job employment studies. "[M]any green job studies have no analyses of job losses. Clean energy costs more than conventional energy, which means consumers and businesses will have less income with which to buy and invest. This reduces their consumption of other goods and services, resulting in...

"Through this special series on green-energy crony-corruption, we've been highlighting specific examples of green-energy loan guarantees and grants. What connects each of these cases is that they received fast-tracked approval from the Department of Interior (DOI) for their projects. Of course, they also have many other dots that connect, such as key players with White House visits, raising...

"Green jobs are integral to any effort to jumpstart our economy and reduce as rapidly as possible our 9.1 percent unemployment rate. The rapid growth of green jobs will boost demand in our economy by reducing unemployment, make America more competitive in the global economy, and protect our public health—all of which will result in greater economic productivity and long-term economic...

"A hybrid bucket truck and electric plug-in car are shown at the ground breaking ceremony for the Martin plant. Due to be completed by the end of 2010, the facility is the first hybrid solar thermal and natural gas-fired power plant and is expected to serve about 11000 homes annually.

Over 30 years, the plant will prevent the emission of more than 2.75 million tons of greenhouse gases...

"Energy costs in the United Kingdom are increasing due to higher fuel prices and government policies. Currently, the UK has over 5.5 million households that are facing fuel poverty, most of which are elderly or disabled. Policies currently in place such as a renewable obligation and a carbon trading scheme have increased prices by 10 percent. The government has a plan that will increase prices...

According to Bryan Walsh, a new spin on global warming politics is "green jobs." Green Jobs are presented as an environmentally cleaner, economically-viable way to spur business. Many politicians, manufactures, and unions support this argument.

"If your blood hasn’t boiled in awhile, you must have missed the AJC story earlier this week about Range Fuels — a multimillion-dollar lesson in why taxpayers usually lose when billionaires with hare-brained schemes sidle up to politicians.

It’s been about a year since Range Fuels shut down its facility in Soperton, the South Georgia town where it had promised to turn our state into a...

"Those hoping for a green jolt to the economy must come to grips with three serious misconceptions."

The White House Friday evening rebuffed a Congressional committee's request for internal White House emails and other documents on the failed solar company Solyndra.

"If Obama’s energy promises rely on questionable science, they rely on even more questionable economics. We are to believe that replacing conventional energy sources (especially coal) with renewables (especially wind) will create five million new 'green jobs.' The hope is that armies of workers will be enlisted to build tens of thousands of windmills; to manufacture and deploy solar-power...

Government loans to "green" companies like Solyndra were not outliers in the 2009 "stimulus bill". Rather, the White House and leading Democrats believed that the loan program represented an optimal form of stimulus, falsely estimating the multiplier-effect that the energy loans would yield.

Chart or Graph

Section 1603 was vital to other renewable energy sectors, as well.

Figure 2 illustrates the additional amount that National Grid ratepayers would pay for their half of the project.

It is important for states to know just how many of their total jobs fall within the clean energy economy. Nationally, jobs in the clean energy economy accounted for 0.49 percent of all jobs in 2007; 22 states exceeded that national average.

We find that the Recovery Act obligated $93 billion through the end December 2010 to green economic activities in a broad range of industry sectors (see Figure 10 and Table 1).

Nevertheless, a large proportion of the winners were companies with Obama-campaign connections. Indeed, at least ten members of Obama's finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers were big winners in getting your money.

Figure 1 provides examples of occupations and tasks pertaining to the seven Green Jobs industries and the number of sampled grantees who proposed training in each of the seven sectors.

Total subsidies for renewable energy, including biofuels, rose from $5.1 billion in 2007 to $14.7 billion in 2010. Much of that increase was due to stimulus spending, the report noted, a 188% increase.

"In four years, the solar manufacturing sector shifted from being led by a geographically-dispersed number of companies to one dominated by Chinese companies."

According to a new CSG report, stimulus-funded green jobs topped 51,700 in the sixth and final quarter of the Recovery Act.

This chart breaks down the top 10 of these specific clean technology industries in terms of their annual average percent change in jobs from 2003 to 2010.

The premise that reorienting our economy in a 'greener' direction by shifting to 'sustainable' energy production will increase net employment in the economy is not true because the bulk of jobs in renewable energy sectors are not self-sustaining.

On an absolute dollar basis, renewables receive over twice the level of subsidies compared with conventional energy sources.

A key question, therefore, is whether the real gain in consumer surplus shown in Figure 1 can ever be greater than the cost of the subsidy. In other words, can a subsidy increase the overall economic value of a market? The answer is no.

We find that the Recovery Act obligated $93 billion through the end December 2010 to green economic activities in a broad range of industry sectors (see Figure 10 and Table 1).

These green investments, however, do not benefit the entire labor market proportionately: the jobs associated with these investments skew heavily in favor of men, with only 24% of the direct and indirect jobs going to women.

Investors and deals require certainty, or at least predictability, about the terms and timeframe of the investment. However, U.S. deployment finance policy on the clean economy has been neither certain nor predictable....

A final finding pertains to the role in economies of industry clustering—geographic concentrations of interconnected firms often accompanied by supporting or coordinating organizations.

"In Table 1, primary green jobs are reported by activity category. Four of the categories accounted for nearly 80 percent of primary green jobs in Mississippi. Of these activity categories, the greatest number was in the Recycling and Waste Reduction category which encompassed 26.3 percent of Mississippi’s primary green jobs. The next three categories in descending order are Energy Efficiency...

"Regional results are reported by Work Force Investment Area (WFIA). Figure 2 delineates the WFIA regions and shows which counties fall within each region. A summary of overall and primary green employment data by region is also included."

BLS has identified 333 detailed (6-digit NAICS) industries where green goods and services are classified. This industry list ... constitutes the scope for the GGS survey. For these industries, the survey will identify establishments that actually produce green goods and services and estimate the number of associated jobs.

Extrapolating from Spain’s experience, the authors note that even if President Obama’s initiatives manage to produce five million green jobs, about 11 million jobs could be lost in other sectors.

Much of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was dedicated to stimulated the "green economy."

Nearly six out of 10 jobs in the category of Clean Energy are responsible for the generation (versus transmission or storage) of clean and renewable energy.

The average annual bill for a customer using electricity and natural gas is about 6 percent of median household income now, up from 3.3 percent in 2004.

Each green job created since 2000 has required about $774,000 in government subsi­dies.

Encompassing 2 percent of all positions, the clean economy represents a modest slice of the U.S. economy.

65 percent of today’s clean energy economy jobs are in the category of Conservation and Pollution Mitigation.

Segments [in the clean energy industry] with initially very few jobs saw particularly dramatic change over time, though the total jobs in the segment may still be much smaller than in others with a larger baseline.

"Among all industries, Manufacturing had the greatest number of primary green jobs with 3,813."

"There is no doubt that the federal government should help guarantee the development of alternative energy for the nation. You can see in this DOE chart that America is losing the race to produce solar energy products, particularly to China and Taiwan."

Looking simultaneously at the total number of jobs (large or small) and their average annual growth rate (fast growing, growing or losing), states’ clean energy economies fall into six groups....

Solar energy requires nine times as much labor per megawatt of energy generated as natural gas, and nine times as much labor per megawatt of energy as coal.

Analysis Report White Paper

"A group of studies, rapidly gaining popularity, promise that a massive program of government mandates, subsidies, and forced technological interventions will reward the nation with an economy brimming with 'green jobs.'"

"The European Union has committed itself to increase the share of renewable energy up to 20% of the final consumption by 2020, from 9.2% in 2006 (EC 2009). The same political wave is mounting in several other countries, most notably the United States."

Green power sources are an attractive energy option when their costs are reasonable and the facility is located conveniently to the electric power grid.

"Increasingly, politicians argue that there are economic payoffs from deployment of alternative energy, especially the promise of so-called 'green jobs.'"

"Germany’s experience with renewable energy promotion is often cited as a model to be replicated elsewhere, being based on a combination of far-reaching energy and environmental laws that stretch back nearly two decades."

"This monograph explores the myths and mysteries of green collar jobs and offers an action agenda to aid workforce professionals in understanding and implementing job training requirements imposed by Title X of the Green Jobs Act of 2007."

The authors explain that before undertaking efforts to restructure and possibly impoverish our society, careful analysis and informed public debate about these assumptions and prescriptions are necessary.

"In this environment, some have seized upon the 'Green Economy' as a cure for both the nation’s current economic ills, and as a way to address the issues of global warming and energy security."

"The notion of 'green jobs' has become something of an emblem of a more sustainable economy and society, that aims to preserve the environment for both present and future generations...."

"In this report, we define green jobs as positions in agricultural, manufacturing, R&D, administrative, and service activities aimed at alleviating the myriad environmental threats faced by humanity."

"This report outlines a green economic recovery program to strengthen the U.S. economy over the next two years and leave it in a better position for sustainable prosperity."

Lesser discusses some of the most egregious examples of "green jobs" and the economics behind their failure.

"Two years later, the Recovery Act’s public investments have not only saved and created millions of jobs, but have also represented an unprecedented down payment on the nation’s emerging green economy."

"The Center for American Progress has long championed efforts to create jobs through building a clean-energy economy."

"The measurements, trends, and discussions offered here provide an encouraging but also challenging assessment of the ongoing development of the clean economy in the United States and its regions. In many respects, the analysis warrants excitement."

An examination of Europe’s green jobs experience reveals these policies to be terribly economically counterproductive.

"Public- and private-sector leaders are working hard to create a brighter economic future for our country, one in which new industries create well-paying, enduring jobs for Americans and spark growth from coast to coast."

"With $2.3 billion in Recovery Act tax credits allocated for green manufacturers, President Barack Obama and other Democratic politicians have high hopes for green technology. But their expectations clash with both economic theory and practical experience in Europe."

"The remainder of the Introduction presents the background for our research of Green Jobs. In the second section we establish a current count of Green Jobs in the U.S. economy as well as their distribution across metropolitan areas."

"President Obama has frequently cited Denmark as an example to be followed in the field of wind power generation, stating on several occasions that the Danes satisfy '20 percent of their electricity through wind power."

"Government promotion of green jobs is becoming increasingly popular. We critically review the main claims of three of the most influential green jobs studies and find serious economic flaws in all three."

Video/Podcast/Media

This presentation describes the status of green jobs in Italy.

In this presentation from the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, Gabriel Calzada Álvarez discusses the impact green jobs have had on Spain.

In this podcast, Andrew Morriss explains some of the problems with renewable energy products. According to Morriss, renewables such as wind or solar are less efficient because they actually rely on a good deal of "brown" energy to make them effective.

"Economics professor Antony Davies answers the question of whether increased spending by the US government increases gross domestic product (GDP) in the short term. Using data relating government spending to economic growth, he concludes that government expenditures have a slightly negative effect on growth. Far from being a solution to economic downturns, increasing spending might exacerbate...

"During an Environment and the Economy Subcommittee hearing, EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus admits to U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner that the EPA does not account for jobs when they issue regulations."

"This video exposes yet another of Obama's radical leftist appointments, EPA head Lisa Jackson. From indoctrination of our youth through the Boy's and Girl's Clubs of America, to fear mongering in a speech to LULAC, to playing the race card in front of BIG (Blacks in Government), Jackson covers all the Environmental Justice bases."

"President Obama's Department of Energy helped finance several green energy companies that later fell into bankruptcy -- but not before the firms doled out six-figure bonuses and payouts to top executives, a Center for Public Integrity and ABC News investigation found.

Take, for instance, Beacon Power Corp., the second recipient of an Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009. In March...

This week, NOW on PBS talks with environmental activist Van Jones, founder of 'Green for All,' an environmental group dedicated to bringing green jobs to the disadvantaged.

President Obama has often cited the success of Spanish green job creation in order to tout an American green jobs program. However, this video demonstrates that Spain's green job program has dramatically failed.

President Obama says green energy will not only save the environment, the new jobs it creates will revitalize the economy. Dr. Kenneth Green joins John to take issue with that contention.

The bottom line: If green jobs are a good idea, they will just happen. The give and take of free market competition will provide them.

In this news clip, energy policy analyst, Nick Loris, discusses the issue of Solyndra and green energy.

Witnesses testified about multiple problems with the Obama administration's efforts to create green jobs, but he said the program should not be ended.

Because there's famously "no such thing as a free lunch", allocating government funds toward green jobs extracts money from elsewhere, perhaps ultimately hindering the economy.

In this brief news clip, Patrick Michaels explains the extreme inefficiency of renewable energy such as wind and solar power. According to Michaels, government spending on energy sources such as these is wasteful.

President Obama spoke to employees at Solyndra, Inc., about his administration's efforts to create jobs and revive the economy.

Green jobs and cap and trade are touted as planet-saving, job creating endeavors that will also rescue our ailing economy. IER economist Robert Murphy thinks there's more to this story, and examines these assertions in a speech at the Heritage Foundation.

Cato Senior Fellow Jerry Taylor delivers a harsh critique of green energy advocates. What's more, he explains why government subsidies on behalf of renewable energy are currently a waste of taxpayer money.

How many more examples of green jobs failure do we need before we realize you can't centrally plan economic prosperity?

A dedicated, unabashed, free market capitalist, T. J. Rodgers takes a businessman's and engineer's view of global warming.

This video humorously demonstrates how green jobs are more costly and more energy inefficient than normal energy sources.

Green energy sounds like a good idea, yet few consider its high cost. In this video we look at the green jobs model of Spain, one of the world's leaders in implementing green technology.

Primary Document

Popularly known as the Waxman-Markey bill, this document sought "To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy." Highly contentious, the bill failed to pass before the end of the 111th Congress.

Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009....

If there is one commitment that defines our people, it is our devotion to the rich and expansive land we have inherited.

In 2009, Vice President Joe Biden spoke on how government could lay the foundation for a middle-class prosperity via "green jobs."

To move the United States toward greater energy independence and security....

Concern with the state of our economy is understandable; as is the desire to take action to improve it. The committee has asked me to address several questions regarding economic stimulus as it relates to energy and climate policies.

This document was cited as "A BILL To amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to establish an energy efficiency and renewable energy worker training program."

When the savings of new, more energy efficient technologies exceed the costs of adopting those technologies, markets have the incentive to adopt them. Indeed the difference between the savings and the costs is the measure of the increased value the economy generates.

"The White House Task Force on the Middle Class has a simple mandate: to find, highlight, and implement solutions to the economic challenges facing the American middle class. With that mandate at our backs, it is no accident that we chose to focus on green jobs at our very first taskforce meeting in Philadelphia, PA on February 27.

There are many reasons for our interest in green jobs....

Dated a couple of months before Solyndra declared bankruptcy, this letter from Solyndra CEO, Brian Harrison updates the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the company's progress.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) received funding beginning in Fiscal Year 2010 to develop and implement the collection of new data on green jobs.

On Thursday, November 15, 2011, ... the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing entitled ―"The Solyndra Failure: Views from DOE Secretary Chu."

In public statements and at the Subcommittee’s hearings on Solyndra, Republican members of the Committee have alleged that the White House rushed the review and approval of the Solyndra loan guarantee in September 2009.

We initiated this audit to determine whether the Department had implemented effective safeguards to manage the Government's risk of loss and to identify opportunities to improve loan processing activities.

Henry A. Waxman and ... Diana DeGette sent a letter to Chairman Cliff Stearns urging him to invite Brian Harrison, president and CEO of Solyndra, to testify before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee....

At the request of the Honorable Charles E. Grassley, then Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Audit, initiated an audit of the Recovery Act Green Jobs Program.

The Obama administration has outlined an economic stimulus plan to revive the economy through tax incentives and millions of jobs in renewable energy....

Discussing plans for the Recovery Act, President Obama particularly emphasizes government support of jobs in the energy sector as a method for reviving the economy.

Consider Solyndra, the now-bankrupt California solar panel company, which was once the poster child of the administration’s 'green jobs' initiative. Solyndra is proving to be Exhibit A in the case for why the president’s economic policies have failed.

"The question of green job creation is simply a variant on the general question of whether or not government can create jobs. That question has been debated since at least the 1850s, when Frédéric Bastiat, a French journalist and politician wrote 'What is Seen, and What is Not Seen,' an essay that should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in public policy."

On Thursday, January 15th, the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will devote its first hearing of the 111th Congress to creating jobs and stimulating our economy through renewable energy and efficiency programs.

I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the Select Committee to discuss the effects of the Recovery Act on our economy with respect to non-traditional green job creation.

I am here representing Green For All, a national organization dedicated to helping to build an inclusive, green economy – strong enough to lift millions of people out of poverty.

Bogart argues against rashly spending large sums of public funds for green jobs. Bogart questions what truly makes a job "green", what the labor costs are, and if the "multiplier effect" is accurate.

"The question of how we can best harness our natural resources to generate sustainable, secure energy and create high-quality jobs is critical in light of the triple crises America now faces: an economic crisis that has left 14 million people unemployed; an energy security crisis that leaves us vulnerable to every international incident and natural or man-made disaster; and a climate crisis...

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act invested in projects that create clean energy jobs while helping families save money on their energy bills.

In the fall of 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama made a campaign promise to jumpstart the economy with an influx of green jobs.

This link takes readers to a list of government loans provided to various energy companies such as Solyndra.

"The Mississippi Green Jobs Survey, conducted during the third and fourth quarter of 2010, is the first of its kind in the state and aims to establish a baseline measure of green employment. The survey sought to capture the gradual greening of the economy by measuring primary and support green jobs. Primary green jobs are those with a primary job function in one of seven activity categories:...

Last week, Solyndra, Inc., the company that received the first loan guarantee issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, shut its doors and filed for bankruptcy.

Report on an audit of the Department of Energy's use of stimulus for Green Jobs development.

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