Reuters: Those “green-collar jobs” promises have been a bust, huh?

posted at 9:16 am on April 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When Barack Obama took office, he promised an explosion of jobs in the “green” energy sector, up to five million in the next ten years.  In his 2009 stimulus bill, Obama spent $90 billion on green-tech subsidies to kick-start that process.  How has that worked out?  Reuters takes a long look and reports that the effort has been a bust (via Big Government):

Three years after Obama launched a push to build a job-creating “green” economy, the White House can say that more than 1 million drafty homes have been retrofitted to lower heating and cooling costs, while energy generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar has nearly doubled since 2008.

But the millions of “green jobs” Obama promised have been slow to sprout, disappointing many who had hoped that the $90 billion earmarked for clean-energy efforts in the recession-fighting federal stimulus package would ease unemployment – still above 8 percent in March.

Supporters say the administration over-promised on the jobs front and worry that a backlash could undermine support for clean-energy policies in general.

We have documented much of what Reuters reports today in earlier spot reports, but the collection of flops is truly remarkable — all the more so because of the massive amount of government spending involved.  The Obama administration has been reduced now to arguing that its $90 billion expenditure will result in 827,000 “job years” over the course of Obama’s term in office.  For those who are counting, that would be 276,000 jobs lasting three years.  Even in “job years,” that comes to $108,827 per job-year; in jobs, it comes to $326,481.  And the “job-years” construct carries a heavy subtext of a lack of permanence, too.

Not all of the expenditures have aimed at direct job creation, of course.  Some of it went to train the unemployed to work in the expected green-sector boom.  After spending $173 million on training, the program placed a grand total of 16,092 workers (20% of the target), a cost of over ten grand per placement.  That money might have been better used to give each student a year of college education instead.

This has been an expensive flop.  At a point when the US already faced a huge public-debt crisis in its near future and the economy was staggering through a private-debt crisis in its present, Obama chose to dump $90 billion of debt into a bet on the so-called green energy sector as a jobs stimulus.  It’s been a failure from every possible perspective without even getting to discussions of Solyndra, Ener1, Beacon Power, and other taxpayer-backed bankruptcies.


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Everything Obummer has done has been a bust.

ObamatheMessiah on April 16, 2012 at 9:21 AM

“job years”? You gotta be kidding me.

I’m with David Axelrod. We need to change course pronto.

forest on April 16, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Some of it went to train the unemployed to work in the expected green-sector boom.

Flipping burgers at McDonald’s with a degree in solar manufacturing..

Makes for good conversation around the watercooler.

Electrongod on April 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Yet Obama and his administration want to double down on this. And they’re totally open about it too.

Doughboy on April 16, 2012 at 9:27 AM

the professor. yeah right. gilligan maybe.

t8stlikchkn on April 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

What a waste of our money which will have to be paid back to the Chicoms by our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Since Mitt has 16 grand kids maybe he could point this out in his next speech. Some of this stuff has to hit home with We the People or spin like job years will become part of govt speak.

Kissmygrits on April 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Well what do you expect when the blueprints involve coconuts?

rogerb on April 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM

“Job years”

Doublespeak: “Deliberately ambiguous or evasive language; any language that pretends to communicate but actually does not.”

cicerone on April 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Only $90 billion to make a million homes less drafty, I’d say that was money well spent.

Bishop on April 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM

I will have to increase my “Job Years” beyond retirement to help pay for this mess.

Thanks Obama.

Electrongod on April 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM

End spending on “Green Jobs” – that will save 20 times more money than then the “Buffett Rule” will bring in – As a matter of fact – keep draining money from the wealthy and job growth will end altogether.

redguy on April 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM

There are millions of monuments to this failure on the Recovery Act signs posted on road sides in every town in this country. I feel like knocking one over with my F350 every time I see one. Maybe Mitt will have them taken down and sold for scrap.

Kissmygrits on April 16, 2012 at 9:36 AM

But but but…the Republicans opposed him at every step.
That’s where the real blame lies.

NeoKong on April 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Team Obama — the government’s “investment” advisers, putting your tax dollars to work “investing” in things no one else in the world will.

farsighted on April 16, 2012 at 9:38 AM

End “investment” altogether – we can’t afford it.

GeorgieGirl9 on April 16, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I would say he’s been an unmitigated disaster but that’s already been done.

Finbar on April 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Obama chose to dump $90 billion of debt into a bet on the so-called green energy sector as a jobs stimulus. It’s been a failure from every possible perspective without even getting to discussions of Solyndra, Ener1, Beacon Power, and other taxpayer-backed bankruptcies.

And the American people didn’t even get a lousy t-shirt for the effort.

Happy Nomad on April 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

90 billion. 90 BILLION! Enough to build 45 Attack Submarines or nearly 20 carriers

Vanished…vaporized.

And they want to run our Health Care.

Bulletchaser on April 16, 2012 at 9:40 AM

a cost of over ten grand per placement. That money might have been better used to give each student a year of college education instead.

No. That money would have been better used in the pockets of those to whom it belonged. The list of useful government spending is very short.

Ufdaubet on April 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM

I would say he’s been an unmitigated disaster but that’s already been done.

Finbar on April 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

I think you are being nice calling it an unmitigated disaster. That implies there was some chance of success.

Obama and his people rushed headlong into this to reward political cronies willing to play the “green energy” game. Solyndra will be a business and public policy school case study in failure for years to come. The American public got bilked but the Obama cronies operating Solyndra made millions in personal wealth.

Happy Nomad on April 16, 2012 at 9:43 AM

who’s in charge here, freakin’ Dr Pepper?

might as well be

DHChron on April 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Obama’s fraud “Green Jobs” programs have fleeced the taxpayer’s money and got it mostly diverted to his campaign backers in a planned con. Taxpayers hope charges will be forthcoming in the near future.

Amazingoly on April 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

What a waste of our money which will have to be paid back to the Chicoms by our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Since Mitt has 16 grand kids maybe he could point this out in his next speech. Some of this stuff has to hit home with We the People or spin like job years will become part of govt speak.

Actually, we have to stop with the “grandchildren paying it back” claim. I’d dare say if you’re under the age of 80, YOU’RE going to be paying it back.

Hurts a lot more that way than passing it off on the children and grandchildren,doesn’t it?

moo on April 16, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Romney should be going after Obama on energy hammer and tong. It touches on the economy, employment, national security, federal waste, the cluelessness of his advisors and cabinet members, and more.

Obama may enjoy popularity, but his advisors and cabinet members (other than Clinton) don’t. Romney should be ridiculing Obama by tying him to Van Jones (Mr. Green Jobs czar until Glenn Beck got him run out of the WH), Salazaar, Chu, and others.

Romney shouldn’t get mired into proposing some micromanaging job programs. Go big picture with energy and EPA reform, tax reform, ending crony capitalism, healthcare reform, and arguing that capital will then flow to the U.S. and industries that work, and the economy will take care of itself.

BuckeyeSam on April 16, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I’m pretty sure a “green job” these days includes anyone the WH spies picking up some litter and putting it in the trash can…and there’s still no jobs.

DHChron on April 16, 2012 at 9:53 AM

There are millions of monuments to this failure on the Recovery Act signs posted on road sides in every town in this country. I feel like knocking one over with my F350 every time I see one. Maybe Mitt will have them taken down and sold for scrap.

Kissmygrits on April 16, 2012 at 9:36 AM

I drive by one of those on the way to work. The “project” is a hole in the ground with a fence around it

jayhawkingeorgia on April 16, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Well, when even “supporters” finally admit the Big Zero overpromised and underdelivered, I’d say it’s time for him to pack it in and drift off into retirement.

Sure wish the GOP had a coherent, unified front behind a nominee who was willing to hammer away at Obozo every day on these topics.

smfic on April 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Job years?

File that with “white Hispanic.”

Were those job years created or merely saved?

Does Jay Carney know three Solyndras?

Geez, I wish the WH press corps would ridicule Carney for that. In the meantime, I’ll have to join others in doing so.

BuckeyeSam on April 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Only $90 billion to make a million homes less drafty, I’d say that was money well spent.

Bishop on April 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Yes, I’d have been willing to take a few thousand people, teach them how to lay caulk around windows and doors, and charged the government a whole lot less than $90 billion. But then, no doubt those “green” contractors had to figure the pay-off to the Obama campaign into their calculations, which likely raised their costs substantially.

AZCoyote on April 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM

What a complete dunderheaded clusterfark this entire misbegotten presidency is.

Everywhere I turn, I see more examples of just how stunningly incompetent the boob named baraka is.

Green jobs- fail. Int’l summit in Colombia- fail. Economic policy- fail. Arab spring- fail. Health care reform- fail. Energy policy- double fail. Forming complete sentences without his electrobinky- triple fail. Monetary policy- fail. Iran and nukes- fail. Russia relations- fail with a backflip and full pike.

Fail. Fail. Fail. 1,000 x FAIL.

Barfail Ofailma.

Hope. Change. Abject fail.

Please make this stuttering failure go away. Forever. Send him back to Failure island, or Austfailia- wherever the mincing donkey is from.

GrassMudHorsey on April 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM

the professor. yeah right. gilligan maybe.

t8stlikchkn on April 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

No, neither the Professor nor Gilligan, the Professor could make a nuclear reactor out of coconuts, Obama can’t even prove he has nuts, and Gilligan always came through and saved then day in the end, Obama is the threat at the end of the day.

SWalker on April 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM

They are a failure here but they a doing wonders for the Koreans

Obama Creating Jobs – Green Stimulus Money Keeping Koreans In Work

conservativeBC on April 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Zero has trashed the entire economy and promises to do more. Friday he signed an EO taking control of certain gas production.

So he’s shut down oil, shut down coal and now he’s going after natural gas.

Meanwhile he scouts out places to take Moochelle on vacation.

dogsoldier on April 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

What a complete dunderheaded clusterfark this entire misbegotten presidency is.

Everywhere I turn, I see more examples of just how stunningly incompetent the boob named baraka is.

GrassMudHorsey on April 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Sorry to have to disagree, Obama only appears to be incompetent to those in denial regarding what Obama’s actual agenda is. See Cloward-Piven Strategy, Obama’s implementation of it, which is his agenda, has been nearly flawless.

SWalker on April 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM

…I wish the Party of No had been able to stop something…ANYTHING!

KOOLAID2 on April 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Obama is a jinx.

albill on April 16, 2012 at 10:21 AM

While we are all familiar with the major solar energy companies that have failed and larger electric car companies like Fisker, there are hundreds of smaller “green” companies that have been given government grants and failed, like Think electric cars in Elkhart, IN:

http://www.etruth.com/article/20120127/NEWS01/701279935/-1/sport

bw222 on April 16, 2012 at 10:27 AM

The Feds needed 900 billion to kickstart the green jobs economy. Taxpayers continue to underfund well-deserved job bills. In other words, the Obama machine needs at least another 2 decades and 150 trillion of your dollars for his policies to work. Call it the mañana syndrome.

racquetballer on April 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM

At the bottom of “green jobs” is land use policy, because windmills and solar panels have to go someplace. As one who opposed a specific project on the ground, I have had some laughs. (To counterbalance all the sad things I learned about gov.)

Over many years, liberals fought and won the battle for environmental issues to be considered in development, and for the public to have a voice. In almost every project, we are talking habitat destruction, threat to cultural artifacts (Native American), threat to endangered species, and so forth. So my organization attracted liberals in great numbers to oppose the solar project. Nice people, hard workers, but confused.

One said to me “I don’t blame Obama for this”. I told her “I do. A president is supposed to consider consequences.” End of conversation.

For now, it looks like we won. Had we lost, a project that would have impacted the lives of hundreds of local people (who have little part in environmental considerations) would have resulted in 5-6 low-paying jobs. Not in the equation is how much time was wasted by my people and the government officials dealing with the stupid project.

We worked very, very hard. (And that’s where lots of the Tea Party people like me are – working on local, county, and state stuff.)

jodetoad on April 16, 2012 at 10:35 AM

@SWalker:
“Sorry to have to disagree….”

Don’t be sorry.

I encourage you to disagree with me, so that I can check my premises and question my conclusions. Unlike the indoctrinated and slavishly dogmatic left, a variety of viewpoints and opinions are encouraged on the Right (as in correct) side of the political spectrum.

To your point- I go back and forth on what you posit…is baraka an evil mastermind or a mincing buffoon? At most, I’ll say this grinning jackhole is a feckless agent for powers far smarter and more cunning than he’ll ever be.

GrassMudHorsey on April 16, 2012 at 10:42 AM

One thing Barry excels at is FLOPS.

GarandFan on April 16, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The Feds needed 900 billion to kickstart the green jobs economy. Taxpayers continue to underfund well-deserved job bills. In other words, the Obama machine needs at least another 2 decades and 150 trillion of your dollars for his policies to work. Call it the mañana syndrome.

racquetballer on April 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM

There is no amount of money that could have kick started the Green jobs, just go look at what trying this Marxist command and control economy fiasco did to Spain’s economy… 20% unemployment… Yea…2 jobs lost for every one created… No thank you our economy is already in bad enough shape with draconian regulations and crushing tax rates.

SWalker on April 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I always thought million of green energy jobs could be created by subsidizing domestic manufacturers to market beanies with little propellers hooked up to microgenerators to power our iPhones.

But who knew millions of spinning beanie props would threaten the domestic bumble bee population?

CoolCzech on April 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM

90 billion. 90 BILLION! Enough to build 45 Attack Submarines or nearly 20 carriers

Vanished…vaporized.

And they want to run our Health Care.

Bulletchaser on April 16, 2012 at 9:40 AM

And if we’d built another 30 submarines and three or four aircraft carriers and recuited the folks to man them, we’d have had some real stimulus. Nothing phony about that. We’d have a lot more jobs in the works too…..

Subsunk

Subsunk on April 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM

To your point- I go back and forth on what you posit…is baraka an evil mastermind or a mincing buffoon? At most, I’ll say this grinning jackhole is a feckless agent for powers far smarter and more cunning than he’ll ever be.

GrassMudHorsey on April 16, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Even on that I think we disagree. Is Obama a front man for a cabal of Marxist’s intent on “fundamentally transforming” America into a Marxist Utopia.

Yes, absolutely.

Where we differ here, is that I do not for one second believe that Obama is a stupid puppet. And yes, you can separate that into two categories. Stupid and Puppet. He is neither.

Yes, Obama has a cabal of very smart men and women working behind the scenes and no the agenda he is advancing is not 100 percent his own. The agenda is Karl Marx’s. The men and women working behind the scenes for Obama all follow that agenda as does Barack Obama himself.

However, do not be deceived, Obama is leading that cabal of “Fellow Travelers” in the same fashion that Stalin, Mao, and Castro did, albeit not as violently. (Yet anyways)

SWalker on April 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM

What a complete dunderheaded clusterfark this entire misbegotten presidency is.

Everywhere I turn, I see more examples of just how stunningly incompetent the boob named baraka is.

Green jobs- fail. Int’l summit in Colombia- fail. Economic policy- fail. Arab spring- fail. Health care reform- fail. Energy policy- double fail. Forming complete sentences without his electrobinky- triple fail. Monetary policy- fail. Iran and nukes- fail. Russia relations- fail with a backflip and full pike.

Fail. Fail. Fail. 1,000 x FAIL.

Barfail Ofailma.

Hope. Change. Abject fail.

Please make this stuttering failure go away. Forever. Send him back to Failure island, or Austfailia- wherever the mincing donkey is from.

GrassMudHorsey on April 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM

————–

This is one of the most funny posts I have ever seen

So eloquent

So Funny

So True

If the average voter cant seee this, the US of A is in a world of trouble

Jean

Gauthijm on April 16, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Subsunk

Subsunk on April 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM

What people overlook…American military is built by American’s…

right2bright on April 16, 2012 at 11:01 AM

What a waste of our money which will have to be paid back to the Chicoms by our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

Kissmygrits on April 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Actually, that’s a popular misconception. The ChiComs really don’t want our T-bonds any more; apparently they have enough of them.

It’s the Federal Reserve that is “buying” our debt. It prints up the money (quantitative easing) and uses the dollars to “buy” T-bonds and T-bills.

If you think like is resembling a Monopoly game, you’re not delusional. It is just like it, and it’s just as fake. Which is why nobody wants to invest here.

It is far worse than merely having children in charge – we are being ruled by children who are born sociopaths and listen to demons.

platypus on April 16, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Countries all over the world are shifting from “green” energy to more efficient (and more job intensive) sources such as hydro, nuclear, and natural gas. But yet the Øbamanation doubles down on wind, solar and algae.

Will China Slow Solar, Wind Expansion?

China will accelerate the use of new-energy sources such as nuclear energy and put an end to blind expansion in industries such as solar energy and wind power in 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says in a government report published on March 5.

China will instead develop nuclear power in 2012, actively develop hydroelectric power, tackle key problems more quickly in the exploration and development of shale gas, and increase the share of new energy and renewable energy in total energy consumption.

………………………………….

Anti-Green Rollback: Ministers Preparing To Veto Windfarms

Ministers are preparing to veto major new wind farms in the British countryside and cut back their subsidies, according to senior Whitehall sources. The decision to pull back from onshore wind farms comes after more than 100 backbench Conservative MPs mounted a rebellion against turbines blighting rural areas.

………………………………….

Spain Stops Green Energy Subsidies

Spain halted subsidies for renewable energy projects to help curb its budget deficit and rein in power-system borrowings backed by the state that reached 24 billion euros ($31 billion) at the end of 2011.

petefrt on April 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Reuters: Those “green-collar jobs” promises have been a bust, huh?

We’re shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

Cleombrotus on April 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM

90 billion. 90 BILLION! Enough to build 45 Attack Submarines or nearly 20 carriers

Vanished…vaporized.

And they want to run our Health Care.

Bulletchaser on April 16, 2012 at 9:40 AM

And if we’d built another 30 submarines and three or four aircraft carriers and recuited the folks to man them, we’d have had some real stimulus. Nothing phony about that. We’d have a lot more jobs in the works too…..

Subsunk

Subsunk on April 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM

Why do the proggies consider spending on unemployment insurance, bike paths, and fountains to be ‘stimulative’, but not spending on military equipment made in the USA?

slickwillie2001 on April 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM

That money might have been better used to give each student a year of college education instead.

Isn’t this a website where we recommend others to “stop digging”?

College education hehehehehehehahahahahahahahaha

Go Bears! Beat Stanford!

Shivas Irons on April 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

test

Steve Z on April 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Go Bears! Beat Stanford!

Shivas Irons on April 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Stanford always wins at everything.

John the Libertarian on April 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

And the “jug-ears” construct carries a heavy subtext of a lack of permanence, too.

-
Spits and walks away…

RalphyBoy on April 16, 2012 at 7:52 PM