New York Times: "Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed."


Obama's green jobs plan, circa 2008, as described by America's paper of record

President-elect Barack Obama and leaders in Congress are fashioning a plan to pour billions of dollars into a jobs program to jolt the economy and lay the groundwork for a more energy-efficient one.

The details and cost of the so-called green-jobs program are still unclear, but a senior Obama aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a work in progress, said it would probably include the weatherizing of hundreds of thousands of homes, the installation of "smart meters" to monitor and reduce home energy use, and billions of dollars in grants to state and local governments for mass transit and infrastructure projects.

Eventually, Obama promised to come up with 5 million new green jobs. How's that going? Not so well. Today, The New York Times goes looking for Obama's promised green jobs—and doesn't come up with much:

A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide and only slightly more — 2.2 percent — in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent.

Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show. Two years after it was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money to weatherize drafty homes, California has spent only a little over half that sum and has so far created the equivalent of just 538 full-time jobs in the last quarter, according to the State Department of Community Services and Development.

So maybe this whole green jobs thing isn't such a workable idea after all? 

Investor's Business Daily ran through a handful of green jobs failures yesterday. Lots more from Reason on the administration's green jobs fixation here, here, and here