Fatal Conceit

The Fatal Conceit

Former Administration Official: Green Job Initiatives "Don't Employ as Many People as Many Might Hope"

Posted by Zachary Woodman on April 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM

In light of the failures of Solyndra, SolarReserves, Brightsource and several other solar energy companies who received government-sponsored loans at the tax payer’s expense and went lost millions, even former administration economic analysts are admitting the failure of Obama’s green jobs plan. Former Biden economic advisor Jared Bernstein has now told the American Action forum that “green job” initiatives don’t produce nearly as many jobs as the administration’s been claiming in the long term.

“I was very active in the implementation of the Recovery Act, and one thing we found about clean energy was that if you build a solar plant, you’re going to hire a lot of people,” Bernstein said. “If you run a solar plant, it doesn’t take a ton of people to run some of these plant….So, some of these firms don’t employ as many people as you might hope.”

Indeed, he’s right. According to the BLS, clean energy firms only employ 4,700 people in the US. In fact, the solar industry only employs 400 people, according to a BLS report issued in March. Meanwhile, Coal and Oil production employs 150,000 people.

In fact, these minimal job returns are incredibly inefficient. $737 million went to a PCG-Tonoph Solar plant which was to be built in California. However, it would only produce 45 permanent jobs. That means it would cost tax payers $16.3 million per job. As a whole, $5.12 billion taxpayer funds went to failing solar companies which have since either gone bankrupt or fired massive amounts of employees. Total subsidies show that $12.8 million per job are spent within the solar industry.

This means that these costly jobs are simply rolled over to debt, skyrocketing inflation and taxation which harms jobs elsewhere. These subsidies are amorally wasting yours and your children’s taxpayer dollars, providing minimal returns on investments and are, in fact, destroying jobs by increasing debts. More government intrusion in the economy with subsidies to failing firms is not job creation, it is crony socialism.



Hoft, Jim. “Crony Socialism: Obama Gives $737 Million to Solar Firm Linked to the Pelosi Clan.” TheGatewayPundit.com. 28 September 2011. http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/09/more-crony-socialism-obama-gives-737-million-to-pelosis-brother-in-laws-solar-firm/. 6 April 2012.

McMoriss, Bill. “FMR BIDEN ADVISER: GREEN JOBS OVERSOLD.” FreeBeacon.com. Washington Free Beacon: 5 April 2012. http://freebeacon.com/fmr-biden-advisor-green-jobs-oversold/. 6 April 2012.

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