The Wall Street Journal‘s Steve Moore details in the American Spectator how damaging the “green jobs” movement might be to the economy. He focuses on what’s happened in California, where numerous “green” initiatives that are being pushed in Congress are already in force. Moore writes:
California is the nation’s laboratory in green job initiatives of the type that so many politicians in Washington, D.C., and the states see as America’s economic passport to the future. The Golden State was first in the nation in renewable energy standards, it is the home of the most stringent cap and trade legislation (called AB 32) to reduce carbon emissions, and it has poured hundreds of millions of state tax dollars into renewable energy research.
So where are all the green jobs? A new 2010 study by the University of California-Berkeley comes to the sobering conclusion that “the green economy accounts for just 1 percent of California’s jobs.” That’s right: of the roughly 15 million California workers, only about 159,000 have green jobs (and this was an expansive definition of green jobs, including trash sorters at the dumpsters)….
Amazingly, even Gov. Schwarzenegger’s own economics team concluded this year that the state’s green regulatory structure is a menace to the state’s economy. The governor’s office study concluded that California’s already iron-fisted environmental and workplace regulations translate into about $176 billion in lost output and nearly 4 million lost jobs. This study was so embarrassing to the legislature and the Schwarzenegger administration that it was suppressed for many months, until several Republican legislators demanded its release….
Much like Europe, California is discovering that for every green job that has been created, several more conventional hardhat jobs have disappeared. The term “green jobs” is a fancy way to say 12 percent unemployment.