Let’s Transition to this Examiner Column about Green Jobs

From President Obama’s remarks last night:

The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time, but over the last year and a half, we’ve already taken unprecedented* action to jumpstart the clean energy industry.  As we speak, old factories are reopening to produce wind turbines, people are going back to work installing energy-efficient windows, and small businesses are making solar panels.  Consumers are buying more efficient cars and trucks, and families are making their homes more energy-efficient.  Scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new industries. 

Good things, conceptually, but do the data match the exhortations? Byron York, Washington Examiner, “Billions for ‘green jobs,’ whatever they are.”

In a June 2 letter to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, [Sen. Charles] Grassley noted that there was an enormous amount of money in the $862 billion stimulus bill for those still-undefined green jobs.

“According to the administration, the Recovery Act contains more than $80 billion in clean energy funding to promote economic recovery and develop clean energy jobs,” Grassley wrote. “However, it has come to my attention that the [Labor Department] is just now attempting to define what a ‘green job’ is. Interestingly, this comes more than a year after the Recovery Act was signed into law and after millions of dollars in funding have already been distributed for green jobs.”

Since the Labor Department is looking for a definition after spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on green jobs, Grassley asked, then what definition of green jobs did it use when it spent the money? The question applies beyond the Labor Department. What about all the other government agencies that are spending zillions on green jobs? They don’t have a widely accepted definition either.

Looks like the California Manufacturers and Technology Association may provide us more detail about greenery today at a news conference:

Manufacturers and Cal Lutheran University’s Bill Watkins to release green jobs report
Study finds that California’s economy would weaken
if state sacrifices existing job base to reach green job goals

Sacramento, CA — On Wednesday, June 16, at 10:00 a.m. the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) will hold a statewide media teleconference to release and discuss a green jobs study — The Truth About Green Jobs and California — recently completed by Bill Watkins, Ph.D. of Cal Lutheran University.

The report provides context to recent green job studies and claims, analyzes what has occurred in countries with “green job” mandates, and takes a look at the real costs of green job policies that ignore markets and the need for overall economic growth.

The report will be available online at www.cmta.net/greenjobs.php at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

* Unprecedented! We’re up to 472 uses of the word at www.whitehouse.gov. It’s an unprecedented use of unprecedented.

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