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

NEXT: Reason.tv: Author and Filmmaker J. Neil Schulman Discusses His Work

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  1. The five-year plan to "green" the economy: also a failure in California.

    1. If we just keep trying, it will work one of these times!

  2. Weatherization was around in the 1970s as a jobs program. The funniest and most pathetic thing about the Obama administration is that for all the talk of Hope and Change, he doesn't have a single idea that doesn't date back to at least the 1970s. None of this shit is new. And none of it has ever worked in the past.

  3. For the military clean energy saves lives By Steve Hargreaves CNNMoneyTech August 17, 2011: 2:40 PM ET
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- One out of eight U.S. Army casualties in Iraq was the result of protecting fuel convoys.

    This statistic, derived from an Army study looking at fuel convoys in Iraq from 2003 to 2007, is a powerful incentive for the military to move away from oil and toward renewable energy, and that's exactly what it's doing.

    From experimental solar-powered desert bases for the Marines to Navy robots that run on wave energy, the military is quickly becoming a leading buyer of cutting-edge renewable energy technology.

    For the armed services, the benefits extend beyond reducing fuel convoy casualties. A fighting force that isn't restricted by the reach of a tanker truck or weighted down by heavy batteries is more nimble and, as a result, more lethal.

    For renewable energy companies, the military is proving to be a vital customer, buying the latest in clean energy gadgets and encouraging private investment. The hope is the armed services can shepherd this technology to the point where it becomes commercially viable, much like it did a generation ago for GPS systems or the Internet.


    1. What? You mean the enemy might try to attack our supply lines? Who's ever heard of such a thing? Luckily with magical green energy we won't ever have supply lines again and the enemy will just give up attacking our forces.

      1. that would be nice but remember "One out of eight U.S. Army casualties in Iraq was the result of protecting fuel convoys."

        1. Convoys are famously soft targets.

          There will still be supply convoys even without fuel convoys.

          Ergo, there will still be convoys to be attacked, and convoys will still get attacked.

          I wouldn't expect that raito to change even with a green army.

        2. One Eight out of eight U.S. Army casualties in Iraq was the result of protecting fuel convoys moronic adventurism."

          FIFY, double sphincter.

        3. that would be nice but remember "One out of eight U.S. Army casualties in Iraq was the result of protecting fuel convoys."

          Are you actually suggesting that the military will eliminate fuel convoys by moving to "alternative energy"?

          I can see it now, the M1 Prius Tank, the King of the Battlefield.

        4. Oh, and let's see where this "experimental" government adventure in alternative energy gets them in five years. This one's going into my link file.

          1. sure worked w UAV's, JDAM's, & junking the 556 cart...wait, forget that last one. but 5 yrs is an eternity in R&D

            1. but 5 yrs is an eternity in R&D

              Yes sir, it is. So in five years, if the government military hasn't figured out a way to effeciently transform its operations with alternative energy, then it's just an internal green-jobs program: doomed to failure.

            2. But in procurement, 5 years is a heartbeat.

    2. Re: Double Asshole,

      For renewable energy companies, the military is proving to be a vital customer[...]

      Double Asshole: An advocate for the growing military industrial complex.

      1. Just so you know, OM, since you have seen the light with "Tony": double asshole is just a sockpuppet as well. I suggest avoidance.

        1. Re: Episiarch,

          Double Asshole is at least a goofy bastard. Tony is just boring. But, you're right.

          1. tony doesnt spoof back

            1. Are you suggesting the Old Mex is a sock puppet? I view him more as a stone Olmec head/all knowing oracle. If I believed in having emperors, I would nominate him for emperor. YMMV.

  4. The only green job is suicide.

  5. Don't worry; the NYT along with the majority of Californians will blame the Last Republican in their state government for this. If only he wasn't there, MUCKING THINGS UP, this would have worked.

    Once he's gone, the blame will shift to "fiscally conservative" democrats. Traitors!

    1. It's funny because it's true.

      1. It's funny in a "makes me want to cry" sort of way.

        1. That's funny because it's true, too.

          1. ::runs away and cries, then cuts self in bathroom while reading Twilight::

            1. I hate you and everybody else;
              When I think about you, I cut myself!

    2. Kulak wreckers and hoarders.

  6. Using DC logic this just means we must spend more in order for the greentopia to arise.

    1. Ignore step one where the money that government spends is either taxed out of the economy, removed by selling bonds which crowd out other investment, or created out of thin air as the Fed trades newly printed dollars for bonds.

      You must ignore step one or you would have to account for opportunity cost.
      But since you don't see that opportunity cost, you can pretend that it doesn't exist.

      This way you start at step two where the government rains magical dollars down like Miracle Grow and green jobs spring from the dirt!

  7. Just remember: the less jobs there are, the less carbon generated.

  8. Actually California paying 347,000 per full time job is better than a lot of the other programs.

  9. Once, when I was driving from Minneapolis to Yellowstone, I drove through the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant (just off of I-90). Here's a picture of him, waiting for us to eat our broccoli and corn niblets.

    1. Are you that multi-colored deuce he just dropped?

      1. You're an odd one, Mr. SugarFree.

        It was a strange experience, seeing this giant in the middle of nowhere. Until that day, I wasn't aware that he lived in Minnesota.

        Curiously, Paul Bunyon is up there, too. Must be a Nordic thing, giants.

        1. "Until that day, I wasn't aware that he lived in Minnesota."

          Pssst...Pro...he's not really alive.

          1. Yeah, like you'd know. I drove right past him!

            1. When The Jolly Green Giant's cracking open Pip's skull to drink the ick inside, Pip will understand. Oh, Pip will understand.

              1. Indeed he will. Green Giant Denier!

    2. That's dangerously close to an upskirt. Good thing the Jolly Green Giant doesn't have any... niblets.

      1. as big as he is it would be a quad !

    3. I think the eight creepiest food mascot list need to be raised to ten.

      And I don't doubt for a moment that there was a good bit of pederasty going on between the Green Giant and Sprout.

      1. Sprout! I was just trying to remember the little green demon's name.

        As a kid I had various Green Giant toys (bendy figures like Gumby and Pokey IIRC). I think my mum sent away for them in the mail in a misguided attempt to make vegetables cool.

        1. Sprout is like Scrappy-Doo--an abomination.

          1. You will accept the new "cute" additions to flagging franchises, or Jolly Green Giant ragdoll will eat your soul.

            1. The hell I will.

        2. Mum? It's sad when your Canadian shame slips out. You can almost pass, too.

          1. Only because you know of her Great White Northerian leanings. Mum could be anywhere else in the English-speaking world. Except for the U.S., where it is illegal.

          2. '...your Canadian shame slips out.' I don't know, but that keeps making me laugh.... great phrase.

      2. A long time ago, I stumbled upon the basic idea of Rule 34 (I phrased it as The Pan-Perversity Principle at the time.) To illustrate my point, I argued that someone, somewhere, at some point in time has masturbated furiously to a Jolly Green Giant commercial.

        HO! HO! HO!

        1. Do you think that "ho" he was always calling for was Sprout's mother? Sprout's origins were never explained in any of the commercials or in the DVD commentary.

          1. Is Sprout supposed to be his son? I thought he was just some form of semi-sentient butt plug.

            I guess one doesn't really preclude the other. So much for family TV.

            1. It's really unclear. Of course, that all started back in the 70s, when reality was just a fictional construct.

              1. The Jolly Green Giant was introduced in 1928.

                FACT PWN'D!

                1. But I'm talkin' about Sprout!

                  1. OK, 1973... I'll give you a pass this time.

        2. "So... green. And leafy. Chlorophyll me, Green Giant!"

          1. "throbbing aspargenis"

      3. "Heard about the Jolly Green Giant (potatoes)
        He's so big and mean (artichoke hearts)
        He stands there laughin' with his hands on his hips
        And then he hits you with a can of beans..."

        1. Yep, that song's on YouTube. Click the name and you're there.

    4. What is up with Minnesota and giants? They have the big blue ox too.

    5. Been there when I was a little kid. It is pretty awesome. I'd forgotten about it, so thanks for the memory. And I too was on a vacation with my family on the way to Yellowstone.

      1. It's on the way! I wonder how many other people saw the Giant on the way to Yellowstone?

        Yellowstone was great, as were the other sights along the way--the Badlands, the Black Hills, Devil's Tower, the Bighorn Mountains, and the Grand Tetons.

  10. In all seriousness, is there a single Obama initiative that has been successful?

    1. Sure, he got elected.

      1. Don't forget his Nobel Peace Prize for...getting elected?

        1. Re: Episiarch,

          Don't forget his Nobel Peace Prize for...getting elected?

          Well, that was quite a feat! Don't you remember that the US is a "racist" country?

    2. Too early to say. Since the real purpose of everything he does is to get himself re-elected, success or failure will be defined next November.

      Oh, I have no doubt there have been incidental successes along the way - enemies have been punished, cronies enriched, etc.

    3. Gun Runner?

    4. Throwin' me under the bus.

    5. Beer summit?

  11. Even if they could create 5 million jobs it would still be a waste resources and a drain on our economy.

  12. I knew a guy, about 6' 8", who used to get gigs appearing as the Jolly Green Giant at supermarket openings. OK, it's not a growth industry, but it's something.

    1. BTW, Roughest! Top! Ever!

  13. 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.

    Those are expensive jobs...

    1. And that's just the start up cost of those jobs. I don't envision them making a profit, let alone paying back the initial capital.

    2. To be fair, was some of the money for the materials?

      Still a waste. The homeowner should be paying for them.

  14. They fucked themselves by using "jobs" as their metric of success.

    I could devise the most wildly successful "green" program of all time just by tweaking current state and federal subsidies on small-scale commercial solar installation.

    The tax credits and utility solar auction credits out there for it are already ludicrous. Raise them another 20% and all you have to do is stand back and watch the country get paved over with solar panels.

    But the "benefit" would be that we'd get to pat ourselves on the back about how green we are. It might not mean that many jobs, because solar cell manufacturing is done in China now, and the installers would be hired and fired in what amounts to a couple of seasons.

    1. Don't. Give. Them. Any. Ideas.

      1. The progressives would like this better, but it wouldn't sell to the public like "jobs jobs jobs" does.

        1. Don't forget about jobs.

    2. Won't happen fluffy. That would require liberals admitting that there are choices in life and that being "green" costs money. No way. They really do live in a delusional world where they can have their cake and eat it too.

    3. JOOOOOOOOOOBBBBBBbbbbbbbbbbssssssssss!!!!!

  15. I still believe that the Aliens Vs Greenhouse Humans post is twice as funny as this one.

  16. I like what Hansen wrote:

    Can renewable energies provide all of society's energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.

  17. Two stimulus grants in my area show the effects of Obama's initiative. One grant paid for a pocket park in my town which the old town council created to prevent any low income housing from going up in our school district. The other grant paid to redesign the main road one town north of me so that cars would have to waste gas by slowing down to 25 mph for 6 blocks.

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