• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • President Obama’s Clean Energy Speech: A Battered Albeit ‘Clean’ Economy

    President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

    President Obama declared in the State of the Union address that the United States must be a leader in clean energy production. Why? “Because I’m convinced that the country that leads in clean energy is also going to be the country that leads in the global economy,” the president reiterated today in a speech at Savannah Technical College. That’s a good reason if it were guaranteed to be true, but doesn’t it depend on the cost? If a manufacturer in another country can produce these technologies more cheaply than a manufacturer in the United States, doesn’t that benefit both economies? President Obama went on to say,

    “[W]e have the potential to create millions of jobs in this sector. These are jobs building more fuel-efficient cars and trucks to make us energy independent. These are jobs producing solar panels and erecting wind turbines. These are jobs designing and manufacturing and selling and installing more efficient building materials. ”

    “We” meaning the government. This assumes, of course, that the money to build clean energy falls freely from the sky. But it doesn’t; the money is taken from other sectors of the economy where it could be put to more efficient use. So far, the green stimulus hasn’t produced the results initially purported when the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act became law.

    In Baltimore, for instance, stimulus dollars have been spent to patch roads, install newer furnaces and painting rooftops white to conserve energy. According to the Washington Post’s Alec MacGillis, none of these projects, as well as others, have created a single job. Another example is in the state of Indiana, where companies have “weatherized 82 homes out of its three-year goal of 25,000, and reported zero new jobs from the spending.” ABC News reports that at the end of 2009, only 9,100 have been weatherized to save energy through the stimulus as part of a $5 billion program. $522 million of the $5 billion has been spent thus far, which equates to over $57,000 per home.

    President Obama also emphasized the importance of government run energy efficiency rebate program for appliances saying that it will save consumers money on their electricity bill. If it will save consumers money, why does it need a rebate? While these products use less energy, they also cost more up front and if forced into the market too quickly by the hand of government, can be much less reliable. More importantly, these decisions should be left to the consumer – not influenced by the government – writes Heritage Analyst James Gattuso:

    “Congress [or the government] is in no position to determine whether consumers would be better off if they bought more expensive, but more efficient, appliances. Consumers are in the best position to do this, and to decide whether they prefer to save money now on the purchase price, or later, in lower energy bills. A consumer who uses an air conditioner for just a few weeks each summer, for instance, generally would prefer a low purchase price. Poorer consumers, who already must minimize appliance use, would benefit least from higher efficiency and would especially prefer lower purchase prices.”

    President Obama certainly isn’t marching to this drumbeat alone. Today California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger pushed for more green job creation and for state legislators to pass his California Jobs Initiative. “It will send a clear message to every CEO, entrepreneur and innovator if you invest in California, we will invest in you,” Governor Schwarzenegger said.

    If the CEOs, entrepreneurs and innovators make a successful product, California won’t have to invest in them as taxpayers. They’ll simply buy their products.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to President Obama’s Clean Energy Speech: A Battered Albeit ‘Clean’ Economy

    1. Billie says:

      Mr. Obama, you took the position as president, not dictator. The people have a right to conduct their business to the people of interest, in freedom. Freedom from government influence and the unnecessary tax dollars to cover. Let the free market take care of it,, Mr. President. No Help Wanted

    2. Pingback: On Releasing Anger / On Releasing Self-Pity (Audio Cassette) | Anger Management

    3. david peacock=====ne says:

      this person is SSSOOOO WRONG for America and the world. He is a single person wrecking ball enabling all the left wing fringe to join in the destruction of our nation.

    4. Pingback: Cleaning services now just a click away-Clean Corp residential and commercial cleaning company | Clean Corp Cleaning Services Blog

    5. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      I have never met an attorney nor anyone with a degree in Law, that was convinced of anything! How could they possibly be? Their entire higher education is dedicated to the fact that they can argue with equal effectiveness, both sides of any arguement! The key word being 'Effectiveness.'

      Obama is a man who would have made very little ripple in the pond without his dedication to Socialism and the Muslim/Islamic radical way of thought. I am stll at a loss where he found in History that the Muslim religion was basic in the founding of America?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×