Institutes Call Out Obama Administration Over Green Jobs

Yahoo Contributor Network

The way the Obama Administration calculates green jobs and how much money has been spent creating them has come under fire from the Manahattan Institute for Policy Reasearch and the Institute for Energy Research. Here are the details.

* According to a September report by Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute, the 3.1 million green jobs that the government claims that it has created through taxpayer-funded programs are mostly a reclassification of jobs that already existed.

* Furchtgott-Roth stated that in agriculture a worker who is growing corn for food is not considered a "green" worker. However, a worker who grows corn to produce ethanol is.

* Likewise, the Manhattan Institute report states, installing a "Lo-Flo" toilet is considered a green job, "but installing a regular toilet is just plumbing."

* "Jobs in clean coal production are green jobs," Furchtgott-Roth writes, "but jobs in coal mining are not."

* An broad definition of what green jobs are, as determined by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, has led to bus drivers, janitorial staff at solar manufacturing facilities, and trash collectors being counted as "green" workers, the Institute for Energy Research stated in a Sept. 12 report.

* The IER points to a June 2012 congressional hearing in which Congressman Darrell Issa questioned John Galvin of the BLS. Galvin stated that employees of environment or science museums, a clerk at a bicycle repair shop, a manufacturer of rail cars and an oil lobbyist whose company is engaged in environmental issues can also be counted as "green" workers.

* Both institutes take exception to the expenditures on U.S. jobs. According to the Manhattan Institute, the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration had awarded, as of June 30, 2011, $490 million of the $500 million provided by Congress to support green jobs programs. Through those programs, 47,000 people enrolled in job training. Of them, 26,000 completed the training and 8,000 found jobs. By the fourth quarter of 2011, only 5,400 of those individuals were still employed at the jobs.

* The IER pointed to the 1603 treasury grant program that is says spent $9 billion in economic stimulus funds to solar and wind projects. Those funds created 910 direct jobs, the IER reported, and another 4,200 to 4,600 indirect jobs.

* The Manhattan Institute's report concludes that instead of creating green jobs, "federal and state governments are relabeling traditional jobs in an attempt to convince themselves and the public that green jobs exist."

View Comments (93)