Recently I wrote about the high costs of the “green jobs” agenda. The subsidies that government has to give to create a “green job” tends to be enormous. Alternative energy sources remain inefficient. And subsidies for politically-favored alternative energy sources may inadvertently discourage the creation of new technologies that might actually work.
CEI’s Chris Horner has uncovered through a FOIA request just how far the Administration has been willing to go to defend the “green jobs” agenda. Horner writes:
After two studies refuted President Barack Obama’s assertions regarding the success of Spain’s and Denmark’s wind energy programs, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to attack the studies.
Via the FOIA request, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has learned that the Department of Energy – specifically the office headed by Al Gore’s company’s former CEO, Cathy Zoi – turned to George Soros’ Center for American Progress and other wind industry lobbyists to help push Obama’s wind energy proposals.
The FOIA request was not entirely complied with, and CEI just filed an appeal over documents still being withheld. In addition to withholding many internal communications, the administration is withholding communications with these lobbyists and other related communications, claiming they constitute “inter-agency memoranda.” This implies that, according to the DoE, wind industry lobbyists and Soros’s Center for American Progress are – for legal purposes – extensions of the government….
As candidate and president, on eight separate occasions Barack Obama instructed Americans to “think about what’s happening in countries like Spain [and] Germany” if they wanted to know what successful “green jobs” policies look like, and if they wanted to know what we should expect here in the U.S. from his agenda.
Some European economists took a look. In March, a research team from Madrid’s King Juan Carlos University produced a detailed, substantive, heavily sourced, two-method paper: “Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources.” The paper concluded that Spain’s “green jobs” program was an economic failure, in fact costing Spain many jobs.
The truth is that if alternative energy sources were competitive with energy derived from coal and oil, then they wouldn’t need massive federal subsidies to encourage their use and to manufacture “green jobs.” And if the market is allowed to work properly, it’s likely that someday someone will come up with an alternative energy source that makes economic sense and will reshape the economy. Yet for now, all the talk about a “clean energy economy” sounds nice, but the American public should realize that that rhetoric comes with a high cost–a cost some federal officials are trying to keep from us.
(Hat tip: James Delingpole)