Three years after Obama launched a push to build a job-creating "green" economy, the White House can say that more than 1 million drafty homes have been retrofitted to lower heating and cooling costs, while energy generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar has nearly doubled since 2008.Trying to force people into a program with questionable results tends to have that effect. Breitbart.com sums up the details:
But the millions of "green jobs" Obama promised have been slow to sprout, disappointing many who had hoped that the $90 billion earmarked for clean-energy efforts in the recession-fighting federal stimulus package would ease unemployment - still above 8 percent in March.
Supporters say the administration over-promised on the jobs front and worry that a backlash could undermine support for clean-energy policies in general.
"All of this stuff is extraordinarily worthy for driving long-term economic transformation but extremely inappropriate to sell as a short-term job program," said Mark Muro, a clean-energy specialist at the Brookings Institution.
Others say the green-jobs push has crowded out less fashionable efforts that would have put people back to work quickly.
"From my perspective it makes more sense for us to arm our clients with the basic skills, rather than saying, 'By golly, you will do something in the green economy or you won't work,'" said Janet Blumen, the head of the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, a Las Vegas job-training organization that has seen positions in trucking and accounting go unfilled because training money had been earmarked for green efforts.
Since 2009, the wind industry has lost 10,000 jobs, even as the energy capacity of wind farms has almost doubled. By contrast, the oil and gas industry have created 75,000 jobs since Mr. Obama took office.The only green that seems to have been produced here is the green that has gone into the pockets of the program's creators...
"A $500 million job-training program has so far helped fewer than 20,000 people find work, far short of its goal." The program was so bad that "the Labor Department's inspector general recommended last fall that the agency should return the $327 million that remained unspent." They didn't. And now, the department "remains far short of its goal of placing 80,000 workers into green jobs by 2013."
According to the Labor Department's own figures, the push for so-called "green jobs" has been an abysmal failure. "By the end of 2011, some 16,092 participants had found new work in a "green" field, according to the Labor Department - roughly one-fifth of its target."