The myth that “green jobs” are a boon to the economy keeps getting pierced by failed green jobs boondoggle after failed green jobs boondoggle.
As I noted in April 2009, the truth about green jobs has been told all over the world. Case in point: Spain.
Every “green job” created with government money in Spain over the last eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in 10 of the newly created green jobs became a permanent job, says a new study released this month. The study draws parallels with the green jobs programs of the Obama administration.
President Obama, in fact, has used Spain’s green initiative as a blueprint for how the United States should use federal funds to stimulate the economy. Obama’s economic stimulus package,which Congress passed in February, allocates billions of dollars to the green jobs industry.
But the author of the study, Dr. Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at Juan Carlos University in Madrid, said the United States should expect results similar to those in Spain:
“Spain’s experience (cited by President Obama as a model) reveals with high confidence, by two different methods, that the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 jobs on average, or about 9 jobs lost for every 4 created, to which we have to add those jobs that non-subsidized investments with the same resources would have created,” wrote Calzada in his report: Study of the Effects on Employment of Public Aid to Renewable Energy Sources.
The latest green jobs failure in Massachusetts is no surprise:
Evergreen Solar Inc., which received $58 million in state aid to open a factory in 2008 at the former military base in Devens, announced today it would shut the plant and let go 800 workers by the end of this quarter. The solar-panel plant is a cornerstone of Governor Deval Patrick’s efforts to make Massachusetts a hub for the emerging clean-energy industry…
The company lost $54 million through the first nine months of 2010, and has, since its founding in 1994, accumulated a total deficit of more than $630 million. Last month, it engineered a reverse stock split to maintain capital requirements for the main Nasdaq stock exchange. Before the split, Evergreen’s stock had been trading at about 50 cents.
Evergreen did not say what will happen to the solar-panel assembly work now done at Devens, but the company noted it will continue to operate facilities in China and Michigan.
But it was just a few short years ago the company was a darling in the eyes of the Patrick administration, which offered Evergreen a rich package of grants, land, loans, and other aid – some $76 million in all-to build a new facility at Devens. The company eventually accepted $58.5 million, one of the largest investments Massachusetts has made in a private company.
They should start calling them “brown jobs” — to reflect the color of the sewer down which untold millions have been flushed in the name of environmental stimulus.
4/13/09 “Spain’s green jobs boondoggle”