green jobs

With the Green Lobby already dictating energy policy here in Ontario, it should perhaps come as no surprise that Big Environment also has the U.S. government in its pocket:

After Barak Obama used Spain as a model for successful green job creation, a Spanish university published a paper showing that for every four jobs created in the green energy sector, nine jobs were lost in the productive sector of the economy. The study found it cost almost $900,000 to create each ‘green’ job in Spain. Spain now has an unemployment rate of more than 19 per cent.

The wind energy lobby – the American Wind Energy Association – started attacking the Spanish study. Then, the  Obama administration used an agency of the US department of Energy (DoE)  to attack the study. That agency is headed up by Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi, the former CEO of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, and the person responsible for shovelling a lot of ‘green job’ stimulus out the door.

More here.

Gerson Lehrman Group provides an interesting assessment of Ontario’s $10 billion dollar deal with Samsung:
Ontario governments like to crow about how great this province is. The Samsung deal reflects a much different reality, a tacit admission that the best the Province is capable of is assembling things under careful supervision from foreign companies (Auto-Pact revisited.) To make it even more vivid, Samsung, which is a relative newcomer to the green energy business, has said it is looking to use expertise from its other heavy industry divisions, including its shipbuilding group, to establish itself as a major manufacturer of wind turbines!
[2.2] the deal had a familiar shape of a developing country “standard”. One partner was a successful international consortium with deep pockets and manufacturing expertise, the other a backward jurisdiction so hungry for jobs that it had to pay the big company what amounts to a bribe to do the deal. The whole thing was arranged directly with the jurisdiction’s leader without the bother of competition. It’s the kind of deal one might expect in the Third World, except that it was Ontario on the Third World side of the equation. But the worst is yet to come: 
[2.3]   there are numerous Ontario companies trying to get a foothold in the green energy business. After all, “wind turbines derived from the shipbuilding”, as was Samsung claim, don’t seem to be a rocket science métier.  If the government had cut a similar deal to support made-in-Ontario innovation, it could perhaps have been justified. Instead, it is slamming the door on these Ontario companies right in their own backyard.
“The Samsung deal is not just about manufacturing wind turbines,” said OEC spokesperson Paul Kahnert.”…It’s a private scheme to generate electricity at outrageous … rates -for years to come….” Kahnert said the province’s electrical utilities operators can buy, install and maintain made-in- Ontario windmills more cheaply without Samsung in the picture. The fact of the matter is therefore quite simple.  The Ontario Government has given away $7B of taxpayer’s money to offshore interests with NO assurance that Ontario society’s investment will create the promised jobs and economies of scale for alternative power generation.
Too true.

Chinese businesses don’t seem to need subsidies to be convinced to invest in clean-energy technologies. And yet, America (and by extension, Canada) are purportedly in danger of being left behind without massive intervention by government:

According to the Breakthrough Institute report, China is home to one-third of global solar manufacturing capacity. In wind, China has gone from having almost zero manufacturing output five years ago to having at least 70 turbine manufacturing companies today. Companies like BYD are also pushing ahead in the commercialization of plug-in vehicles.

 “Without concentrated action and big investments by the U.S. government, we will be passed by in the clean-tech race,” said Michael Shellenberger, president of the Breakthrough Institute, in a conference call on Wednesday. “We think the U.S. can catch up, but it won’t be through modest research and development and legislation, but through massive investments.”

While Chinese capitalists see opportunity, North American “capitalists” expect to be bankrolled by taxpayers. Something is wrong here.

The Toronto Sun has a good editorial today asking questions about green jobs.

With news Ontario is negotiating with South Korea’s Samsung Group for wind turbines and solar panels in a deal Energy Minister George Smitherman says could bring billions of dollars of investment and hundreds of green jobs to the province, we have some questions.

They also apply to the 50,000 “new” green jobs Smitherman and Premier Dalton McGuinty claim Ontario’s Green Energy Act will create over the next three years.

First, does this mean 50,000 more jobs before or after jobs losses in the traditional energy sector are subtracted?

Second, how many of these jobs will be permanent?

Third, what will be the taxpayer subsidy per job created?

Fourth, how long will these subsidies last?

Fifth, what impact will this have on electricity rates?

And yet, with a seemingly straight face, Jim Harris argues in the National Post that green-collar jobs will pay for themselves.

Which begs the question: Why are we subsidizing them?

With anyone other than Obama at the helm, this would be unbelievable.

 Sometimes all the grand talk is just grand talk.

President Obama claims that his “new energy economy” will jump start growth and jobs. The EPA endangerment rule repudiates that claim once and for all. If the green future is going to be so bright, why does the White House want to exempt so many businesses from its glories?

If you’re going to be responsible for creating green jobs it would probably help if you had some idea what one was.

President Obama devoted nearly $60 billion of his stimulus package to building a new green-based economy rich in renewable energy and strategies to cut carbon. But despite the price tag, not one green job yet exists. It comes down to a problem of etymology. No one can yet agree on what a green job actually is.

But don’t worry, Van Jones, Obama’s green jobs czar,  is working on it. He says:

“Well, we still don’t have a unified definition, and that’s not unusual in a democracy. It takes a while for all the states and the federal government to come to some agreement. But the Department of Labor is working on it very diligently. Fundamentally, it’s getting there, but we haven’t crossed the finish line yet.”

Doesn’t that make you feel better that the $60 billion will be well spent?

ht: five feet of fury

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