April 1 2009
A recent report states a record number of college students are pursuing so-called "green technology" degrees. But will the jobs be there when they graduate?
Prominent among President Obama's agenda items is creation of "millions of new green jobs" in his pursuit of investing in alternative and renewable energy, curtailing the nation's addiction to foreign oil, and addressing what the White House labels a "global climate crisis." In fact, earlier this month the president tapped environmental activist Van Jones to serve as a special White House advisor for "green" jobs, enterprise, and innovation.
Amy Watson, a senior policy analyst with the Independent Women's Forum (IWF), says the green jobs touted by Obama could potential become a reality -- but she questions at what expense to the U.S. economy.
Amy Watson (Independent Women's Forum)"Essentially the Obama administration wants to subsidize things like the wind and solar industries in an effort to create these so-called 'green' jobs that they keep purporting they are going to create," notes Watson. "So depending on if that subsidy continues -- because these industries are certainly not self-sufficient -- potentially there will be jobs. [But] at what expense? [At what] detriment to the U.S. economy as a whole?"
Watson says the same approach to green jobs was tried in California and Spain. "And what they found is that for every one job created, two jobs are lost in the market," says Watson.
The IWF analyst also contends that just because someone has a job and is getting a paycheck does not mean they are creating something of value.