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March 25 2010

IWF in the News: Government Chooses Green Policies Over Job Creation

Carrie L. Lukas

Every day we see news stories that discredit the hysteria of "Global Warming." Winters have been colder for the past five years and those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s remember when the fear was another "ice age." To make matters worse for "green" advocates, thousands of discovered emails written by Global Warming scientists show the agenda was more about control and politics than improving the environment. Add to the fact that the barriers between people and jobs are so numerous, the last thing you would think that policy makers would want to do is add regulations and taxes in pursuit of a green economy, but that appears to be the priority of the Obama Administration.

President Obama has made the creation of green jobs one of the biggest priorities of his energy and environmental agenda. Becoming the "leader in developing the clean energy technologies that will lead to the industries and jobs of tomorrow"' is described by Obama and his Administration as "'critical to the future of our country." They are investing billions in pursuit of this goal, according to Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women's Forum.

The stimulus bill of 2008 and 2009 had huge amounts allocated to "'green"' enterprises, including:

  • $6 billion for a loan program targeted for "green" industry.
  • $5 billion for weatherization aid, and $11 billion for "'smart grid"' technology and modernized high-tech transmission lines
  • $500 million to help train workers for "green-related" careers.
  • The new budget doubles down with similar "'green"' investments.


In addition, the subsidies allocated hundreds of millions for the research and development of new technologies in the energy field. There are also billions of tax breaks for companies investing in projects that pursue clean energy. Finally, you will find $74 million for initiatives to encourage young people to pursue careers in clean energy.
Taxpayers should be warned that creating a "'green job"' is not affordable, says Lukas:

  • State and local "green job" creation efforts have cost in excess of $100,000 per position.
  • Instead of creating domestic "green job" industries, much of the dollars for such projects are actually being sent overseas. For example, ABC News has reported that nearly 80 percent of the almost $2 billion in the stimulus bill dedicated to wind power, went directly to foreign manufacturers for wind turbines.


In the end, what may be of greatest concern are policymakers who know that direct government spending alone will not usher in a new "'clean"' economy, so they are also pursuing a more deliberate path to "'green"' job creation -- driving up the costs of traditional energy sources either through regulation or a costly cap-and-trade system that acts as a carbon tax. Essentially, the government will try to force businesses to use "green" fuels at the expense of their international competitive edge. This will mean that average American families will find that these policies cost them thousands of dollars as the price of everything from food (transported by gas power vehicles) to fuel itself, rises. Something with this kind of cost should generate "green" jobs, but will likely do so at the lost of many traditional jobs. Businesses will be forced to put more resources into cutting energy costs rather than on business expansion or job creation. The US already has the highest unemployment it has experienced in a quarter of a century. One has to wonder what our economy will look like after the radical health care agenda and an environmental plan that is simply not needed.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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