• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Obama's "Green Jobs" Pipe Dream

    President Barack Obama has a problem on his hands when even his stalwart allies at The New York Times have no choice but to admit to a glaring reality: The President’s “green jobs” promise has failed miserably.

    On Friday, the Times printed a harsh assessment of the state of the “green” economy—including a conclusion that the President’s promise to create five million green jobs over 10 years has proven to be nothing more than “a pipe dream,” with California’s Bay Area providing a particularly poignant example of how “green” jobs have actually been lost, not gained:

    In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned . . .

    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.

    California isn’t the only place, though, where the green dream is falling short of reality. Last year, Seattle won a $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization programs. The money was to be spent on insulating crawl spaces, serving to create jobs while helping the environment by reducing the energy needed to heat homes. The program, which was announced at the White House on the eve of Earth Day, has proven to be a total flop. Seattlepi.com reports:

    [M]ore than a year later, Seattle’s numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers. Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable.

    Those failures aren’t just hitting the West coast, either. In Oak Park, Michigan, a state-government-funded hybrid bus company sits dormant, out of business just two years after it drew acclaim for being part of Michigan’s green future, despite millions in state taxpayer funding and a contract to sell buses to be purchased with federal taxpayer dollars. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports that the company failed to meet two performance “milestones” as part of its $2.6 million total loan agreement with the state—and without government funding, the company couldn’t survive.

    Despite these green failures—and reports that 80 percent of the $2 billion set aside in the “stimulus” package for green jobs is going overseas, mostly to China–President Obama is continuing to make the pitch that a federally funded green future is central to his plan for rescuing the economy, going so far as to pledge an additional $2.4 billion for green jobs, especially to make batteries for electric cars. The Heritage Foundation’s Ernest Istook explains why the President’s plan will fail, just like it has in the past:

    Green jobs are about government subsidies, cronyism, and job cannibalism. They aren’t self-sustaining because they rely on giveaways of taxpayer money and they cannibalize existing jobs…

    The green agenda soaks taxpayers.  But it also packs a double wallop because taxpayers are first hit to pay for the subsidies, then everyone is hit by higher energy prices caused by energy taxes and regulations.

    As President Obama stays the course, pursuing a well-worn path toward government-subsidized green jobs failures, it’s important to point out that there is another way toward real job growth that doesn’t require taxpayer subsidies. As Heritage lays out in its “Saving the American Dream” plan, by reversing the growth of the federal government, eliminating unnecessary regulations, and repealing Obamacare, Congress can set America on a better course. It’s one that preserves the reality of the American dream, rather than chasing the fiction of a green pipe dream.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    64 Responses to Morning Bell: Obama's "Green Jobs" Pipe Dream

    1. Troy says:

      President Obama needs to look up the word insanity in the dictionary. He seems to think that doing the same failed policies over and over again will produce a different result as some point. 2012 can't get here soon enough.

      • Robert, TX says:

        Obama is having the time of his life. Plus, after getting destroyed in the mid-term elections they STILL have zero opposition. Obama actually has more power now, than he did with Pelosi as Speaker. No, 54 million republican voters need to look up the word insanity – and then STOP doing the same thing over and over again – voting for gutless liars.

      • Peggy Brittain says:

        Unfortunately, President Obama is so arrogant that he thinks he will be the first to succeed at formerly failed policies. Hard to convince such a man to change his mind.

      • gary sheldon says:

        We must remember that if the lame stream media touts a RepulicRAT candidate then it signals the Bilderbergs have a horse in the race from both parties as per usual. They like Romney and Perry so neither get the nod from me. The lame stream hate Bachman and Palin so they would naturally be best for the republic. They really despise people with a moral compass and belief in the LORD. Let America's chief communist maintain his insane ways and his supporters as well( Biden, durbin, Fwank, Watters.lee , holder, the usual non- representers and Injustice Dept. racists.

      • Clearhead says:

        With all due respect, Troy, the word that needs looking up is SANITY. No need to look up a word with which one is already intimately familiar.

      • dennis says:

        There is a purpose to his madness..it is to continually weaken our economy…

    2. david yeary says:

      Here in Lakeland, Florida we are hit with higher electric bills partially as a result of less energy used because of the measures that the government subsidizes to reduce energy consumption. Tell me if that passes the common sense test! The less we use, the higher our bills.

      • RG Schmidt says:

        Well, David, here in Citrus County we are hit with higher electric bills because the Florida Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, authorized Progress Energy to bill customers for the cost of a new nuclear plant that may or may not be built; and, if it isn't, we don't get our money back. What was that about common sense?

      • Peggy Brittain says:

        Who ever associated the elite progressive with common sense?

    3. robbie says:

      With all the destruction that this administration is causing, where are the calls for "IMPEACHMENT"? Every organization is talking and writting about how bad things are and making post's on blogs, but NO ONE is doing a darn thing about it! It is time for Obama to be IMPEACHED or made to STEP DOWN! Problem solved, and then we can move on to fix the disaster that has been caused.

      • wayne says:

        Robbie, you are so right. Look what they did to President Nixon, and for what. At the very least he was sincere; this Harvard kid has one thing on his mind ; to quickly dismantel and tear at the very fabric that has made this country great.

      • KC - NM says:

        Impeachment would be wonderful but we do not have the support in the Senate or guts in the Senate to do anything about this. The Senate is made up of a bunch of losers who are professional politicians who only think of themselves. We are basically screwed until the 2012 elections and then hopefully we can get some intelligent leadership into Washington.

    4. Scott says:

      We are actually hit three times. Taxes, Energy, then the increase in the cost of purchasing a car to meet their green demands. "Government…….finding news ways to take, and waste, your money."

    5. kaydellc says:

      We, the people have not been diligent in selecting a person that can lead and know about the free enterprise. Instead WE have electer beuracrats, long time politians and community organizers to fix a problem they know nothing about or have any experience in managing. May we be more diligent in selecting the man instead of a party or idealogy. If we do not then we can kiss America as we know it to be goodbye.

      • JMAC says:

        We the people need to start a new initiative to educate un-educated voters! Thats how he was elected in the first place. No one new a darn thing about this guy and didnt care to. They saw a new, "different looking" talking head and said "oh that looks cool" jumped on the band wagon, drank the cool aid and cast a vote. Presenting a photo ID to vote does not present an IQ along with that vote. Now granted you didn't need much of an IQ to realise this hack was unqualified but that's exactly what liberals need to survive in office. The biggest threat to the liberal "fail" movement would be to test everyone registered to vote on the basic structure of our government and who is running each branch. If you can't figure that out, no vote for you!

    6. Whicket Williams says:

      The Government cannot get out of it's own way We MUST cut the size down by at LEAST 1/2 doing away with whole agencies and the talse regulations that protect the donorsof sitting crooks(so called LAWMAKERS) and punish everybody else ONE THING that needs to be done yesterday HALT ALL subsidies for ethanol before we are guilty of starving MORE people.

      • Robert, TX says:

        Right on, Whicket! Which is why most people voted last November, except little johnny and his pal mitch sold us up the river!

    7. MNJ says:

      We keep assuming that logic will win the press, the left, etc. It won't – we need a concerted, concentrated approach by someone who can do visual media. These short videos need to be blasted everywhere – each time showing another green job flop. Just keep 'em coming..

      I know, money but with some coordination maybe, just maybe we could pull it off.

    8. Monica says:

      This what happens when goverment jumps the gun before the technology is feasible and awards our tax dollars to companies based on idealogy instead of free market demands!! Stop wasting our money and let the free market decide.

    9. Tom Crimmins says:

      Real energy jobs and improvement in our energy economy can be achieved by a push to create our own energy here in the USA. Reduce the regulations and time delays for drilling for oil and natural gas, allow shale oil recovery with the necessary safety and environmental procedures and reduce the regulatory weight on all types of power plants (oil, gas, biomass and nuclear) and refineries. Lots of jobs and economic benefits for all Americans. No new major subsidies required !
      Tom

      • Yvonne Guenther says:

        You are so right, Tom. Sadly, Barack Hussein Obama is the glitch……as are others on his "TEAM" to squelch the American dream. Why won't people acknowledge the fact that his goal is to destroy our great country?
        Can't people see the truth? He is so beholden to union leaders, and together they want to kill businesses by slapping insane regulations on them. Evil is running rampant in Washington, and returning to the American values must not be hindered by the evil intimidation of the radicals. The decency of the Tea Party has been a blessing. Maxine Waters and her types need to wash their mouths out with soap……along with anyone stupid enough to say the Tea Party is a terrorist group.

    10. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Obama's "green jobs" scheme has failed because it's not about jobs. It's about Obama intent to destroy the fossil fuels industry. That will not only cause energy prices to "skyrocket", but will bring about the rapid downfall of our capitalist based economy by destroying hundreds of thousands of related jobs. As an added bonus, Obama is appeasing his thousands of radical enviromentist, Democrat voters, that will continue the farce until they achive their goal of the return to the stone age.

    11. Robert, TX says:

      Big, bad, Obama …. Obama the big, bad wolf! What do wolves like to eat? Sheep. Sheep are tasty, they are slower than deer, and easier to handle than cattle – but at least provide some challenge. That is more than I can say for little johnny and his brother mitch – and the other 274 republican sheep in Congress.

      • diane4commonsense says:

        Oh, Robert, and how do you like/love all this wonderful "hopey-changey" crap that Obama has supplied you??? Get a life and quit drinking the left's Kool-Aid!

    12. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      Heritage continues to tell us what problems Obama has…keep in mind:

      1. We still have Obama's medical bill
      2. We still have politicians exempt from the bill
      3. We still have service women/men returning home dead from Obama's failed policy – unauthorized wars
      4. We still have life-long politicians wanting to screw military people of pensions while they get lifetime pensions
      5. We still have a Justice Department authorizing illegial immigrants into the U.S.

      and Heritage is worried about green jobs…Unfortunately this will not be published but I know another great paper will come out from Heritage to be shared at dinner with the lifer politicans you support

      • Clearhead says:

        Hey Doc, If you were a regular reader of HF's publications, you would know that they have already covered these subjects in detail. But we have MORE that 5 problems in this country worthy of notice.
        P.S. ……..Much more !
        P.P.S. ….MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more !!

      • KC - NM says:

        I agree but I also want to see the main stream liberal media start publishing the real issues – in a non-political manner. That is probably something that cannot happen. The real worry is the large number of Americans who are not informed, don't care, don't contribute, and are generally uneducated thanks to our federal education department. These folks are easy to influence by Obama and his slick talking ways. We also now have the racial issue by the representatives in California and Florida. These folks are just tearing this country apart with blame on the Tea Party. I am not sure if we can hold out till 2012.

    13. Chassoo says:

      Like everything else Obama has done to this country, green jobs are a flop. I truly believe Obama is doing all this on purpose, nobody is this stupid. The man is to destroy our way of life and not enough people have awaken to what is going on.

    14. LuluBelle says:

      So, if the funds didn't go where "they" said it would, where did it go? Into Van Jones' pockets??

    15. Johna32 says:

      Obama is clearly in way over his head. His highly theoretical and prefessorial view of things runs amok with reality and the Heritage Foundation – as do many other conservative media – hits the nail squarely on the head in espousing sharp limits on burdensom regulations, significant reduciton in spending, and development of business stimulation plans that will encourage creation of private sector jobs. The government does not "create jobs" – clearly it only influences the environment and conditions by which private sector firms can do so.

    16. PaulPatriot says:

      As the famous General in WWII said to the Germans "NUTS"

    17. KC - NM says:

      We Americans are in so much trouble today due to the current administration. The liberal professional politicians have not provided a budget, do not have a plan, do not have a clue about what mainstream America needs, and certainly have not addressed private sector jobs. Adding jobs through governmental growth is not the answer! Obama and his liberal team have got to go! The green initiative has as much credibility as Al Gore. We need change, we need leadership! We need this now!

    18. MSMII says:

      It proved to be a FLOP in the 1970's. Do you recall that big worry and scare about global cooling and the coming iceage? I remeber the government mandated warnings that were all over the place and being sent home with me from school. It was a crock then. It's a crock now. It's almost as costly a scam and crocl as Obama's policies in the Middle East! http://msmignoresit.blogspot.com/2011/08/thank-ob

    19. More incompetent malfeasance by the worst administration since Carter

    20. sheilamom13 says:

      and where is the rest of that money Seattle received? Surely not all $20 Million was spent on just 3 homes, I hope! Does it go back to the Federal treasury? Doubtful. Oh yes… those 14 ADMINISTRATORS!!!!

    21. Dean says:

      Why didn't Obama have the bus company in Michigan build him two "green" buses for his pointless four day tour???

    22. Russell Errett says:

      Believe those who are seeking the truth.
      doubt those who find it Andre Gide

      ?Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
      Leo Tolstoy

      Do the politicans think that they are above ignorance or an idiiot when they think they can make failed policys work.

    23. Grumpa Joe says:

      In my lifetime I've experienced at least three "green eras". I am and have always been a conservationist, but each time the Gov'mn't gets involved the green movement goes backwards. Currently, I find myself replacing expensive twisty light bulbs at a rate much faster than the old incandescents, and get lousy light from them besides. Oh for the days of yore when common sense ruled.

      • Another Old Grump says:

        Green technology only works when it fills a need. A five dollar light bulb is better than a fifty cent light bulb when it works more efficiently and saves the customer money in the long run. If it does that, nobody has to 'mandate' green light bulbs. The free market will demand them.

        Big Government wants to control every aspect of our lives 'for our own good', of course, as if we couldn't decide for ourselves what was best for us as individuals. If 'green' costs us more money, more jobs, and more waste disposal problems, we'll eventually wind up with a black market economy, as people trade in what they want, not what the Nanny State wants them to have.

    24. toledofan says:

      The entire ideology of Obama and his Administration is entirely out of sync with how our country really works and what makes capitalism the best policy on earth. It's clear from all the mis-steps, mistakes and hardening of the ideological veins that these guys will never understand the concepts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or our American way of life. Green jobs, or whatever they are supposed to be, are good ideas but until those ideas are formulated, debugged and put into practical use, they won't be useful. So, until the green jobs are refined we should be deregulating, drilling, reducing taxes, reducing the size of government and developing new frontiers. A real jobs approach, not a fake attempt at creating something.

      • Hillbilly says:

        YES, I agree."entirely out of sync"Correct. These people use words like "shovel ready", "infrastructure", "balanced budget",….. But they simply do not have any "feel" for their subject. Obama thinks these words show his intelligence, but the real world knows his use of these words show his Ignorance. Obama presently want "job creation" through infrastructure work; work requiring imported fuel, imported materials, "imported money", taxes, and….. don't forget Union Dues(only thing understood). Infastructure work will definitely stimulate our foreign friends.

    25. Doug Nicholson says:

      This is a similar situation to that of foreign aid. When you are broke, you shouldn't be sending money to other countries. When you are broke, you can't afford to be subsidizing the "greenies" with their pie-in-the-sky, "wouldn't it be nice if" fantasies. When we have a vibrant, growing economy with low unemployment, THEN we can afford to indulge them.
      The email before this one in my inbox was from "resourcefulearth.org", which I just joined after checking them out. Their agenda is stopping the "radical environmentalists".

    26. The Farmer says:

      Wake up folks!!!!
      Obama's green jobs is a complete success if you will look where or what it was ment to be.
      He said he was going to develop and finance his own force as good or better then the armed forces.
      WELL!!!! follow the money folks! And you will find that he has done just what he promiced.
      Our green has through all manor of so called green inatitives, gone straight to the pockets of his foolish force, which by the way includes the Unions of America.
      Folks! can you see a connection here, between what is going on before your eyes, and prophecy? Remember the red horse, the black horse, and the pale or green horse of The Revelation.
      When you see the flags of the Middle East and the colors on them, does a bell go off anywhere?

    27. John Stewart says:

      Obama and his progressive cohorts and minions are a living, working, and breathing example of Einstein's definition of insanity.

    28. Wendell Harrold says:

      So typical of government's way of doing business…We know what is best for you. Driven by the environmentalist agenda, green jobs are certainly pie in the sky. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" comes to mind when looking at who backs these ideas: Soros, et al.
      These examples of waste will not, cannot stand on their own because people want things which actually work at a decent price, not something shoved down their throat to bloat and float a government-backed pet project. Proverbs 26:27 is the verse of Holy Scripture I pray for that crowd

    29. Chris says:

      When will the government get thru there thick head,s there's not enough high-tech job's to support a growing gdp.We must start producing in the U.S.A. again. G.E. what a joke the reason there bottom line has been so good because of there China operation's. Immell has no pride. I have been out of work for almost two year's my last job I was over a 14 million dollar green job and can't buy a job now.

    30. wayne says:

      The media claims that this guy is just so smart that his lips can`t keep up with his mind ; this is the reason he stutters when making a speech. Who is the bigger fool ? What kind of person with just average intelligence would vote him back into office again ? Well, I guess the libs got the " change " they so desperately wanted.

    31. John Stewart says:

      So far, he has proven Einstein's definition correct!

    32. GRP says:

      Green Jobs? I think Americans (And Heritage.org) need to have a look at this. Is this what Obama means by "Green" Jobs and saving the environment? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaL0LRIQr90&fe

      I think that it's time we take a closer look at our former Vice President Al Gore, and Mr. Obama.
      Something is very wrong with their "global warming" picture… The only people who have to observe strict environmental restrictions are the American Citizens. The Chinese economy is "overheating" while America is facing full economic collapse. Chinese factory pollution has even been detected or San Francisco!!!

      I believe that there is a "Real" environmental agenda and it has absolutely nothing
      to do with saving the environment..

      I think if you connect the dots, you'll see why Obama won't let us drill for oil, or mine for coal.
      He knows what's going on. He just came back from South America when the Libyan war started.

      It could be that our money has been going for "green Jobs", but not on our continent.

      Check this out:
      http://farmlandgrab.org

    33. Larry White says:

      Power, control, crony-capitalism, choosing winners and losers, what am I missing here? oh yes, phony science, phony scientists, demagoguery and "…bureaucratic despotism is worse than socialism."(Thanks Dr. Arnn)
      WE MUST WORK VERY HARD TO GET OUR COUNTRY BACK- RIGHT NOW.

    34. jim says:

      The 'green jobs program' is like most (all?) government programs – the majority of jobs actually created will be for those administertng the program – not real working jobs. That is why it costs taxpayers hundreds of thoursands of dollars for every single job "created" by the government.

    35. Peggy Brittain says:

      It is a sad day when our President refuses to see the writing on the wall and make all of us pay for his lack of flexibility in the face of failure. Two years ago when he rolled out his "pipe dream" for green jobs, he was told to look to Spain. Green jobs, cap and trade, greening the environment all failed spectacularly in Spain and caused the cost of energy to sky rocket (hmm, where did I hear that?). Now look at Spain! They are begging the rest of the EU to bail them out. Can anyone see the handwriting on the wall if Obama is re-elected?

    36. Dottie says:

      ?
      Question-What is the purpose of the "BLACK HELICOPTERS ?

      DMMAloha@aol.com

    37. Denver says:

      Absent intellect, the liberal bravely throws all of OUR money that he can get his hands on at any imagined problem. A "Green''economy is only possible in the presence and subsequent to a highly developed heavy industry. How else would the tooling and equipment and POWER be available to develop the IMAGINED Green products. In fact, leave the creative genius of American society free to pursue their own ideas unmolested and unsubsidized and the results will exceed the imaginings of any greedy self-seeking politician. I believe Edison,Ford and Eastman all developed their products without big-govt. subsidies.

    38. Nancy says:

      Can there be any doubt that Al Gore's global warming idiocy was brought about as a way for liars to make "green" rather than anything to do with the ecology of our nation and planet? Why are they called progressive? These folks are REgressive. Like these stupid ideas haven't been tried before. I wonder when they'll start talking about bringing back eugenics.

    39. Roger says:

      "…the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned." Complete insanity. Wait- green jobs creation was a miserable failure in Spain, but wait… lets try the same thing and somehow we will be different because we are special. Are destiny is to show the rest of the world how its done because our motives are more pure than those stupid Spaniards who failed because of incompetence…

    40. Jeanne Stotler says:

      The only "GREEN" Obama and Gore really care about is the green going into their pockets.

    41. RennyG says:

      It could have been proven many times but he doesn't care. His objective it to creat cahos in our country and no one can or will stop him. I thought the House could, but they are playing dead. So, prepare yourself for another 4 years of this "stuff!"

    42. Bobbie says:

      Heritage, someone should investigate the privately run in America, foreign sharia, unconstitutional, unlawful banking system. Something tells me it started with money that isn't their's and is gaining wealth by extortion. Unlawful and an aid to holding the economy back!!

    43. All the politicians who want to put us on “clown-cars” or bicycles continue to drive around in big limos and huge SUV’s in D.C. Worst yet, they fly in jets, not “corporate” jets, just in “government” jets, so that makes it alright. Obama keeps ranting about “green jobs” as if there are millions of those fantasy jobs here, already, paying very good money. But they do not exist. “White” jobs for Anglos, “black” jobs for blacks, “brown” jobs for Hispanics—well apparently they do not exist either. We are never going to end “world hunger” either. We will never have “world peace.” This is what you get when you elect extremist liberals to run your country.

    44. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama's green jobs debacle will make us poorer.

    45. Robert H. Davidson says:

      Back in the early 1970's I worked for RCA there I learned of solar energy and the piezo electric effect. It made sence all we had to do was develope the product that would make the jump from miniscule amounts of current to Amps of current. Now it is 40 years later and still we have not reached the point of success. Solar energy is a wonderful concept whose time has still not come. Now we must concentrate on other sources of energy never forgetting Solar until the next Edison/Einstein comes along.

    46. Hillbilly says:

      I agree with several "common sense" comments above. You guys give me hope….keep talking/writing.

    47. diane4commonsense says:

      All of this smells of Van Jones — Obama's Communist green czar (well, he had that position until Glenn Beck went to work on him)! He loves instigating trouble, especially in the field of green junk!

    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.

    ×