Green-jobs explosion a “pipe dream,” says …

posted at 10:45 am on August 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Investors Business Daily hammers the idea that the US will see a vast expansion of a green-jobs economy.  In an article today, the conservative publication not only publishes data showing that the Porkulus money that would supposedly create a multitude of green jobs ended up creating nearly none at all, the application of billions of dollars in subsidies has actually resulted in a net loss of jobs in this sector over the last two years.  The article calls the fantasy that government subsidies to the so-called “green” industries would create millions of jobs “a pipe dream.”

Oh, wait, excuse me.  That’s not Investors Business Daily.  It’s the New York Times:

In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned. President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream. …

A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide and only slightly more — 2.2 percent — in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent.

Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show. Two years after it was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money to weatherize drafty homes, California has spent only a little over half that sum and has so far created the equivalent of just 538 full-time jobs in the last quarter, according to the State Department of Community Services and Development. …

Job training programs intended for the clean economy have also failed to generate big numbers. The Economic Development Department in California reports that $59 million in state, federal and private money dedicated to green jobs training and apprenticeship has led to only 719 job placements — the equivalent of an $82,000 subsidy for each one.

The Times went to the Obama administration’s most visible adviser on green jobs, and remarkably, even reported why he’s no longer at the White House:

“I won’t say I’m not frustrated,” said Van Jones, an Oakland activist who served briefly as Mr. Obama’s green-jobs czar before resigning under fire after conservative critics said he had signed a petition accusing the Bush administration of deliberately allowing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a claim Mr. Jones denies.

Well, he did sign the petition, and it did say that “high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur.”  In fact, Jones didn’t deny signing it; he merely denied agreeing with it.

Since I brought IBD into the story, let’s read what they’ve written about green-jobs stimulus this week:

Stimulus funds intended to boost the green economy haven’t been well spent. The latest example of this is Monday’s bankruptcy filing by Evergreen Solar Inc.

The Massachusetts company that the White House once said “is hoping to hire 90 to 100 people” thanks to stimulus money has $485.6 million in debt. Evergreen closed a factory in March, reports the Boston Herald, and cut 800 jobs. A Michigan plant is to be shut down, as well, causing the loss of even more jobs.

Evergreen isn’t the only supposed conservation company that can’t make it even when fronted with piles of taxpayer money. Green Vehicles of Salinas, Calif., which has burned through more than $500,000 in money “invested” by the city, folded last month without having produced anything of significance. The company promised it would employ about 70 and pay back Salinas taxpayers with $700,000 a year in city taxes.

Farther north in Seattle, stimulus funds are also being wasted. A $20 million federal grant for home weatherization has, according to KOMO news, retrofitted only three houses and created 14 jobs in more than a year.

It looks like the Right and Left agree: green-jobs stimulus is a waste of money and time.  It’s time to get government out of the social-engineering business.  Not only does it cost us a fortune, it just flat-out doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, via Allahpundit and the headlines, it looks like all the taxpayer subsidies for the Chevy Volt are paying off just as well as the rest of the green-jobs stimulus efforts from the Obama administration:

Introduced last December, Volt is one of the first new vehicles to test the potential market for electric propulsion.  It has been going head-to-head with Nissan’s pure battery-electric LEAF.  Sales of the two vehicles have been marginal, at best, though the makers insist that has more to do with limited supply than buyer demand.

Through the end of July, Chevy has sold about 3,200 of the plug-in hybrids compared to 4,500 Nissan Leafs.  But both makers have begun ramping up production, General Motors forecasting sales of around 16,000 for the year as a whole – including a small number of Volt clone Opel Amperas targeted at markets abroad.

But a new study by CNW marketing raises a red flag, finding that the potential buyers GM is most counting on are rapidly losing interest in the Volt.  In March, 21% of so-called Early Adapters said they were “very likely” to consider buying a Volt, while 38.1% said they were “likely” to do the same.  That slipped to 14.6% saying “very likely” in July, and 31.1% “likely.”  Among EV Enthusiasts, reports the CNW study, the number of those likely or very likely to consider Volt fell from a combined 71% to 51% during the same four-month period. …

The big problem is the plug-in’s price, CNW data indicate.  When first introduced, the Volt carried a $41,000 sticker, though it qualified for a $7,500 federal tax credit.  For 2012, the Chevy will drop to $39,995, a $1,005 cut, though it is still thousands more than the Leaf – and nearly double the price of a base Chevrolet Cruze compact, which shares the same underpinnings as Volt.

I have no problem with the private sector taking a flyer on new technology.  I have a big problem with taxpayer funding to indemnify them against the very obvious risks of producing a vehicle at twice the cost and half the real value of its competition.  Time to pull the plug on taxpayer support for the Volt, especially since the only people who will claim the tax credit will be those who would have bought the car anyway.

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If we had just kept Van Jones in the administration..///

d1carter on August 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

The only “green” in “green jobs” is the color of the taxpayer money flushed down the toilet supporting them.

Thanks, Obama. Nice work.

Good Lt on August 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

It worked so well for Spain…

PatriotRider on August 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Green-jobs explosion a “pipe dream bomb.”

Or, is that too violent for an industry which is destroying America under the guise of feel-good political correctness?

Fallon on August 19, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Stay…on…target…

Battlecruiser-operational on August 19, 2011 at 10:50 AM

OT: I’m really liking these new block quote boxes…

d1carter on August 19, 2011 at 10:51 AM

I won’t say I’m not frustrated,” said Van Jones, an Oakland activist communist.

darwin on August 19, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Arianna Huffington tore into Obama over jobs three or four weeks ago on a Sunday show and said “green jobs are nonsense and the millions unemployed know it!”. Oh yes she did.

Marcus on August 19, 2011 at 10:52 AM

A $20 million federal grant for home weatherization has, according to KOMO news, retrofitted only three houses and created 14 jobs in more than a year.

Da-yamn! Those three houses must be snug as bugs in a rug.

Fallon on August 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Arianna Huffington tore into Obama over jobs three or four weeks ago on a Sunday show and said “green jobs are nonsense and the millions unemployed know it!”. Oh yes she did.

Marcus on August 19, 2011 at 10:52 AM

She also got a bunch of professional and semi-professional writers to provide her web content for free, and then sold the site for a ton of money.

I’m starting to think her progressive schtick was just a ploy to make money off idiots.

forest on August 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Well, we did gain some esthetic benefits. Have you ever seen anything as beautiful as a windmill farm?

a capella on August 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Stay…on…target…

Battlecruiser-operational on August 19, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Winnage.

Uncle Sams Nephew on August 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

I’m starting to think her progressive schtick was just a ploy to make money off idiots.

forest

From Algore and across the board, that’s what all the Leftist ideologues want from their championing of their causes.

honsy on August 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM

So what was in that pipe the NYTimes was smoking? Something green?

rbj on August 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

BTW people it’s not just unemployment. have you been looking at food prices lately? They are going through the roof, probably because of high fuel prices and operating expenses.

Home heating oil prices will be nasty in a couple months too.

The accumulation of all that discomfort will land squarely on Failbama and his circus.

dogsoldier on August 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

It’s always been obvious that this green job meme is b.s. About 6 years ago, I got into a debate with a lefty Spaniard that even confirmed that green jobs were a scam. All this green nonsense is designed to get people pay exorbitant prices and increased taxes. It’s really gotten to the point of plain robbery.

Blake on August 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Economic illiteracy is the foundation of Modern Liberalism.

visions on August 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

But wait, the Volt is what we need most! The president just said this week that automakers can’t expect to keep selling SUVs and trucks because the market wants more green vehicles! Trust me, Obama knows the marketplace, just ask Geithner!

cartooner on August 19, 2011 at 11:06 AM

It’s been Green Screw-Jobs from the beginning. It’s always been about Green Screw-Jobs.

The only ones it benefits are those getting the subsidies. You might say it creates those executive level jobs, but those shysters would probably just be working some other ‘give-me subisidies and I’ll give you campaign donations/votes’ government teat sucking scam.

Dusty on August 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM

We just keep pi**ing off those extraterrestrials.

BKeyser on August 19, 2011 at 11:13 AM

dogsoldier on August 19, 2011 at 11:03 AM

I don’t mind paying more than a reasonable amount for my groceries and gas if it makes barack uncomfortable. I wouldn’t even mind paying $5/gal for gas if it would ensure he is un-electable for a second term.

DuctTapeMyBrain on August 19, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Green-jobs explosion a “pipe dream,”

New York Times on August 19, 2011

If only millions of us had already known that before now!

sockpuppetpolitic on August 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM

I visualize a day coming when those folks laid off from green jobs will be allowed to go to the front of the unemployment line. Don’t ask why -you just feel such things in your heart.

Don L on August 19, 2011 at 11:18 AM

I guess we can just add this to the list of “bad luck” under Barry. Woe is Barry. He didn’t advocate spending billions on these phantom green jobs, so we can’t blame him. Oh wait…

rcpjr on August 19, 2011 at 11:19 AM

What about the shovel ready green jobs? They’re exploding with success, right?

MJBrutus on August 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Well, looks like the government better create another commission to analyze this…

right2bright on August 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM

I’m starting to think her progressive schtick was just a ploy to make money off idiots.

forest on August 19, 2011 at 10:55 AM

She was the wife of a Republican, and was quite vocal about being conservative…she is whatever she feels like, morals are not part of her programming.
Now what do they call a woman who will sell herself for money?

right2bright on August 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

A green job is when solar plants in Spain mount sheets of black plastic made to look like solar panels in order to hide the diesel generators. In short, the phrase “green job” means the same as “snow job”… but is much more expensive.

http://saveourseashore.org/?p=1395

http://climatechangedispatch.com/politics-propaganda/6822-the-scandal-of-solar-power-in-spain

They got caught because they were generating power at night, maybe using lunar panels?

theCork on August 19, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Volt pricing is crazy. I paid less than that for my 2004 Vette with 10K miles on it, which is a hell of a lot more fun and didn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

TallDave on August 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM

A $20 million federal grant for home weatherization has, according to KOMO news, retrofitted only three houses and created 14 jobs in more than a year.

$6.7 million to weatherize a house? It would be much cheaper to knock it down and build a new weatherproof house from scratch!

So the Federal Government spends $20 million to create 14 jobs? Can I work for the Gubmint for $1.4 million?

Your tax dollars at work…

Steve Z on August 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM

The EPA is trying to shutdown the only real green jobs,Farmers. They’ll soon need more licenses and permits than an asbestos removal company.

tim c on August 19, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Once again it is proven. Liberalism is a mental disease. Anyone with an iq above 70 could see what nonesense green jobs are. But liberals bought into it.

angryed on August 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM

The only thing “green” was the taxpayer money. This whole thing has been a freaking scam since day one. Front a company with ‘miracle’ technology. Tout it’s “green”. Collect government seed money. Fold six months later.

Still waiting in Kalifornia for all of The Governator’s “green shoots all over” to materialize.

GarandFan on August 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

non-partisan Brookings Institution

What is it about leftism that shames it’s adherents so much?

Van Jones, an Oakland activist who served briefly as Mr. Obama’s green-jobs czar before resigning under fire after conservative critics

Obviously, with this pu$$y who’s really really really going to sue Glenn Beck, it’s a label worthy of shame.

If you’re ashamed of what you believe in, maybe it’s time to change your beliefs?

MNHawk on August 19, 2011 at 11:42 AM

A $20 million federal grant for home weatherization has, according to KOMO news, retrofitted only three houses and created 14 jobs in more than a year

14 jobs.Have you ever crawled around in a Texas attic putting in itchy insulation?Even the illegals won’t do it.

docflash on August 19, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Green tech will never be profitable, so it will never produce more than a small percentage of the energy needed to run a capitalist society.

The pinnacle of current green technology was the solar calculator (the solar cells that will charge your mobile phone are pretty cool but I’ll never buy one as long as I’m allowed to plug my phone into a wall). We need to elect a president who has the courage to cut every dime of green tech subsidies from the federal budget. If it is going to advance, let it be funded voluntarily and not under penalty of law and at gunpoint.

Wingo on August 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Yeah, it has been a huge disappointment. 0bama promised me a nice high paying ‘green’ job grooming his unicorns, and I’ve yet to get a paycheck for it.

Now I’m down to just HOPE and CHANGE Hoping for some spare Change.

LegendHasIt on August 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Hey Bayam?

Care to take the shotgun out of your mouth long enough to comment? I mean this is straight from your side’s state media. How does this jive with your claim that our side just didn’t understand macro-economics?

Try experiencing something for yourself instead of continually grovelling before your professors who never actually have to produce anything from their “expertise” besides brainwashed drones.

ClassicCon on August 19, 2011 at 12:02 PM

“leftism” is composed of two camps. 1. the chronically credulous and stupid people 2. the crooks and cronies

Malinvestment has been a word that has been kicking around for a long time. If nationally directed schemes to re-engineer society and its industry the Soviet Union would be a paradise.

So most of the left boils down to corruption and graft which is aided by a dishonest/stupid press

r keller on August 19, 2011 at 12:04 PM

The EPA is trying to shutdown the only real green jobs,Farmers. They’ll soon need more licenses and permits than an asbestos removal company.

Better call the Department of Agriculture to verify that rumor.

katablog.com on August 19, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Well, we did gain some esthetic benefits. Have you ever seen anything as beautiful as a windmill farm?

a capella on August 19, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Not only are they beautiful but they come in real handy pre-cutting the all those birds for easier frying.

Tim Zank on August 19, 2011 at 12:13 PM

I wonder why the Soviet Union fell on it’s face? Do you think listening to these stupid nut-jobs had anything to do with it.

tarpon on August 19, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I have no problem with the private sector taking a flyer on new technology. I have a big problem with taxpayer funding to indemnify them against the very obvious risks of producing a vehicle at twice the cost and half the real value of its competition. Time to pull the plug on taxpayer support for the Volt, especially since the only people who will claim the tax credit will be those who would have bought the car anyway.

Then your argument is not just with GM, but with Toyota, Tesla, Fisker, Ford, Nissan, MB, BMW… Boeing, Aerbus…
Let’s face it, the Chevy Volt is just the whipping boy for everybody. The only reason it’s taking more heat than other EVs and their companies is its potential for success.

silverfox on August 19, 2011 at 12:26 PM

The Volt is the electric Edsel, just call it the eEdsel for short. Anyone with common sense could see the business model was unworkable from the start. They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it tax dollars to sell MAYBE 20K vehicles a year?

jnelchef on August 19, 2011 at 12:28 PM

I have a green technology we want to deploy. We could make millions.

You know what? We have to face the same onerous EPA regs, high taxes, and patent trolls as anyone else.

The sad truth is it will probably be 98% made offshore.

orbitalair on August 19, 2011 at 12:30 PM

And, remember, one of Romney’s spiels for the ’08 election was, wait for it, green technology. America was going to lead the way!

Wonder what he has in mind this time.

MaggiePoo on August 19, 2011 at 12:30 PM

In about 1995, I hired a company to make sure my house was sealed and energy efficient, back then it was also gov. supported, don’t recall the details.

But today I’m the president of a group fighting hundreds of acres of solar panels in my valley.

2 differences – 1) in my home, I had a choice, and it was to benefit my pocketbook via my electric bill. 2) The big projects are scaled beyond good sense, so the impact is WAY too big, and we are given no choice, where it actually hurts our pocketbooks in terms of home values.

These projects are to benefit others, far away, at our expense. High-tech redistribution of wealth.

jodetoad on August 19, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Let’s face it, the Chevy Volt is just the whipping boy for everybody. The only reason it’s taking more heat than other EVs and their companies is its potential for success.
silverfox on August 19, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Heh, thanks for the chuckle.

LegendHasIt on August 19, 2011 at 12:35 PM

That’s not Investors Business Daily. It’s the New York Times.

Hey, let’s investigate the NYT!

petefrt on August 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Ohhh come on…
Who could possibly have seen this failure coming….

It’s not like say….Obama had any way compare this to another country trying the same thing…
You know…
….like a…..you know.. a country like Spain trying the same thing and it resulting in nothing but a complete failure..

Leaked Spanish Report: Obama’s Model ‘Green Economy’ a Disaster
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/leaked-spanish-report-obamas-model-green-economy-a-disaster-pjm-exclusive/?print=1

As predicted [1] was inevitable, today the Spanish newspaper La Gaceta runs with a full-page article fessing up to the truth about Spain’s “green jobs” boondoggle, which happens to be the one naively cited by President Obama no less than eight times as his model for the United States. It is now out there as a bust, a costly disaster that has come undone in Spain to the point that even the Socialists admit it, with the media now in full pursuit.

…..I mean come on…give the Whiner-n-Chief a break…there was no way he could have foreseen this total failure of policy and waste of tax payer money unless he…you know…actually paid attention to scientific studies and the facts on the ground that showed this as a failure….

What Obama needs to do is double down on stupid and raise taxes on small businesses and keep pushing his job killing EPA regulations on Americans so that unemployment will go up even further……

Obama’s AWESOME!!!!!!

Baxter Greene on August 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I’m so glad my favorite czar was quoted in this article.

HellCat on August 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

This reminds me of the Carnahan brother who got his scumbag sib to earmark $100m to his wind farm.

juliesa on August 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Speaking of Van Jones..did u ever think 5 years ago, that a self admitted communist, discovered within the Presidents click, would bring such a non response from the President himself? wtf? he was perfectly alright with keeping him there. And CNN and MessNBC were fine with it also..only reporting his resignation when they had to.

malkinmania on August 19, 2011 at 12:59 PM

The government money for green-jobs nonsense will always fail because the progs insist on the use of greedy union labor. If you look at payback intervals on energy use vs mods and then hit it with greedy union labor costs, the equation tilts against you.

slickwillie2001 on August 19, 2011 at 1:01 PM

…“I won’t say I’m not frustrated,” said Van Jones, an Oakland activist who served briefly as Mr. Obama’s green-jobs czar before resigning under fire after conservative critics said he had signed a petition accusing the Bush administration of deliberately allowing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a claim Mr. Jones denies…
“Mr Jones” denied it and that’s good enough for you huh? How liberal of you “journalist” Aaron Glantz.

RMR on August 19, 2011 at 1:05 PM

A $20 million federal grant for home weatherization has, according to KOMO news, retrofitted only three houses and created 14 jobs in more than a year

And, as Dave Boze has been pointing out, many of those jobs are administrative.

29Victor on August 19, 2011 at 1:10 PM

I am willing to pay a lot extra for everything if it will result in the destruction of the leftist media and their number one squeeze who lives in the White House.

drunyan8315 on August 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Green Jobs actually means Jobs that produce campaign donations for Obama. Union Jobs only.

meci on August 19, 2011 at 1:37 PM

They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it tax dollars to sell MAYBE 20K vehicles a year?

jnelchef

Last month they sold about 250 vehicles!

Maybe they’ll sell 20K over the next decade, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

honsy on August 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Maybe the pipe-dreams are because they’re smoking green tea…

OnlyOrange on August 19, 2011 at 1:57 PM

And the President will come back relaxed from his vacation and offer up the same old “green job initiatives” that have failed in the past. And he will challenge the GOP on it, with the media ready to either vilify them or use it against them in the next election.

djaymick on August 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Oh! You must be mistaken. Government Motors is so thrilled with the volt, which runs on coal and not that dreadful gasoline, that it announced that it will bring out a Cadillac using the same drive train.

burt on August 19, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Maybe they’ll sell 20K over the next decade, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
honsy on August 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Then in thirty years the ones that have spent their life in a garage will become collectors items and their price will be $100k.

burt on August 19, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Here’s the link to the KOMO news story about how the Seattle Green Jobs program is a bust.

Another one is the minuscule Chevrolet Volt sales. GM initially claimed that sales were slow because there wasn’t enough of a supply, but a nationwide search revealed over 300 for sale. The main problem? The $40k sticker price.

RMCS_USN on August 19, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Maybe they’ll sell 20K over the next decade, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
honsy on August 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Then in thirty years the ones that have spent their life in a garage will become collectors items and their price will be $100k.

burt on August 19, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Yeah, like all those Pintos, Vegas, Gremlins and Pacers.

slickwillie2001 on August 19, 2011 at 3:35 PM

A cap, have you seen how many Eagles and other endangered birds are being killed by the windfarms? Each one is supposed to carry a 10 year prison sentence, but the charges are not being filed. The Eco nuts are livid.

If your business were killing these birds, you would be hand cuffed before you could say Van Jones.

barnone on August 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Van Jones is definitely not the only communist that is now serving in this administration and actively working to destroy (transform) life as we know it. Ariel Durant said,”A great civilization cannot be conquered without until it destroys itself from within.” We are watching that happen before our very eyes.

volsense on August 19, 2011 at 5:05 PM