Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Green jobs again

Myth-makers left and right are still making noise about green jobs, pro and con.
So I repost a message sent to the Energy Conversation listserv in 2010,
still up to date now:

The issue of green jobs has certainly attracted a huge amount of exaggerated advocacy analysis,
both from the left and the right. That's why I took some time last year to read through the major research reports, right down to the details of the econometric models, to try to get a decent first order story on what we
really know, posted at:

Quick summary: the devil is in the details. Climate or energy bills could add net jobs or reduce them,
depending on how they are written. For climate bills -- the present uncertainty about
CO2 regulation by the federal government and by states is inhibiting ALL kinds
of investments in the electric power sector. A top guy in IEEE reports that he recently went to a meeting of top utility executives where all they basically said: to invest more (and thus create badly needed jobs,
especially in depressed sectors like construction and steel), what we need more than anything else is
price certainty on carbon. We don't care so much what the price actually is; only that we know it.
The present confusion is the worst of all worlds. Every day we waste in reducing that confusion is a day
of unnecessary weakness, slow growth and human pain all across the US. The American people, like the utility executives, do worry a lot about who in Congress really cares about them or about the country.

But... climate bills COULD hurt the industrial sector of the US, if not offset in ways that could
cause trade and treaty problems.

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