Myths About Green Energy: The Truth Is, It’s Corporate Welfare That Destroys American Jobs

In The Washington Post, Robert Bryce debunks five myths about green energy: it won’t create jobs, won’t help the environment, and won’t make America less dependent on despotic foreign regimes.

The $800 billion stimulus package is using taxpayer subsidies to replace U.S. jobs with foreign green jobs. It is also destroying jobs in America’s export sector.

The global warming legislation backed by President Obama would also drive jobs overseas, since it would impose a costly cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme on American industry, while leaving foreign plants operated by multinational corporations unregulated.  That’s one reason why many big companies with plants overseas are lobbying for the global-warming legislation, which would give them an advantage over competitors that make their products largely in America.

Although Obama and other backers of this “cap-and-trade” concept claim it will cut greenhouse gas emissions, it may perversely increase them by driving industry overseas to places with fewer environmental regulations, resulting in dirtier air, and damage to forests and water supplies.   It would enrich politically-connected corporations, and result in massive destruction of the world’s forests.   By expanding ethanol subsidies and mandates, it would cause enormous “damage to water supplies, soil health and air quality.” Ethanol subsidies have already resulted in forests being destroyed in the Third World.

The Washington Examiner earlier explained how the global-warming bill backed by Obama will lead to deforestation, and thus increase greenhouse gas emissions in the long run.  Obama’s so-called “cap-and-trade” bill is full of pay-offs for special interests.

Such cap-and-trade energy rationing schemes would lead to big tax increases, administration officials privately have conceded, even though they publicly claim otherwise.  “Officials at the Treasury Department think cap-and-trade legislation would cost taxpayers hundreds of billion in taxes, according to internal documents circulated within the agency and provided to The Washington Times” by CEI.  It could raise household taxes by $1761 per year, equivalent to a 15 percent tax increase.   It would also result in “loss of steel, paper, aluminum, chemical, and cement manufacturing jobs.”

Obama earlier admitted that “under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” since its costs would be passed “on to consumers.”

Citizens would be wise not to trust Obama’s utopian claims about mythical green jobs, given that the foreign green jobs programs he seeks to imitate have completely failed.  Obama’s past claims about job-creation have turned out to be false. Obama falsely claimed that the $787 billion stimulus package was needed to prevent “irreversible decline,” but the Congressional Budget Office admitted that it would actually shrink the economy “in the long run”.  Unemployment has skyrocketed past European levels, as big-spending countries have fared worse than thrifty ones.  As the Examiner notes, “If his stimulus program was approved, Obama promised, unemployment would not go above 8 percent . . . The reality is that it passed 10.3 percent.”  In 2008, Obama promised a “net spending cut,” but as soon as he was elected, he proposed massive spending increases.