New York, NY
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Green jobs baloney
Rev. Jesse Jackson is on the wrong side of the right issue – energy and jobs
"I salute Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jr. for taking to the streets and airwaves to raise awareness that energy and jobs are the most critical issues facing poor and minority American families," Niger Innis said today. Innis is the national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality and Affordable Power Alliance.
The Alliance is a humanitarian coalition of civil rights, African American, Latino, small business, senior citizen and faith-based organizations, concerned about access to affordable energy.
"Reverend Jackson is on the wrong side of the right issue. But at least he's not grandstanding and concocting racism out of thin air, the way Al Sharpton is doing with Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' and honoring our service men and women rally in Washington," Innis continued.
"Energy is our master resource, the foundation for jobs, economic growth, and literally everything we eat, make, drive, transport and do," noted Jim Martin, chairman of the 60 Plus Association, another APA member. "Without abundant, reliable, affordable energy, civil rights progress is hobbled and rolled back. Investment and job creation are stifled. Families are forced to pay skyrocketing prices to heat and cool their homes, get to work and enjoy decent healthcare. Elderly citizens are forced to choose between heating and eating."
"Reverend Jackson seems to understand this," Innis said. "Unfortunately, though, he has bought into the notion that we can achieve green nirvana, by having government suppress fossil fuel development and use – and then mandate and subsidize an overnight transition to renewable energy, by giving our hard-earned money to politically correct companies that lobby a lot better than they provide energy."
Almost 85% of America's energy comes from oil, gas and coal. Another 8% is nuclear. These fuels support some 20 million direct and indirect jobs – plus tens of millions of factory, office, hospital and other jobs that require inexpensive, dependable energy.
Wind and solar provide less than 2% on a good day. "And they do it only 30% of the time, on average. We can't run a company or a country on that kind of energy," added Reverend Sam Rodriquez, president of APA member National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
"Reverend Jackson is parroting White House and EPA claims that California has already created 500,000 green jobs and a clean energy industry could provide 3.2 million jobs – if the federal government would just provide support and necessary infrastructure," said Rodriquez.
Reverend Jackson wants the Senate to pass "clean energy" and climate legislation that he says would boost investment in wind and solar energy. "These claims have no basis in fact. They're completely contrary to what's happening in Europe and other places that have experimented with green energy," noted Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., president of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and co-chair of the APA.
"Even assuming some or all of those 500,000 jobs actually exist in a real world beyond hype, press releases and politics – and I'd to see the analysis and evidence for that – they came about only because billions of dollars were taken from taxpayers and consumers, and given to companies that produce little energy and would go out of business tomorrow without constant subsidies," Martin stressed.
"And don't forget that California has lost 1.3 million jobs, because it has legislated, litigated, taxed and regulated them out of existence," Innis stated. "The once-Golden State is so tarnished it has 12.3% unemployment, the second worst in the nation, and faces a budget shortfall of $19 billion."
"As Germany, Italy, Spain and America are discovering, the clean, green, renewable energy future is not clean, green or sustainable," Bishop Jackson said. "It requires millions of acres of land; millions of tons of concrete, steel, copper and rare earth minerals; expensive gas-fired backup power plants; thousands of miles of high voltage power lines across backyards and favorite habitats and recreational areas; and exemptions from the environmental study and endangered species laws other companies must follow."
Affordable Power Alliance members also highlighted other "clean energy" realities that Jesse Jackson, the White House and EPA have downplayed or ignored.
* A wind farm being built in West Texas created 2,800 jobs – but 2,400 of them were in China, where the turbines were manufactured. America got only 400 jobs: for truckers, installers, regulators and lawyers.
* According to Rockefeller University professor Jesse Ausubel, New York City would need a wind turbine farm the size of Connecticut, to generate enough electricity to meet average Big Apple needs.
* The $41,000 Chevy Volt, built with billions in stimulus and subsidy money, takes hours to recharge – and gets only 40 miles per charge. "It is nothing but a feel-good toy for rich elites," said Rodriquez.
* On an annual average, Germany's wind and solar units actually generate power only 15% of the time. In Texas, on hot summer days when electricity demand is highest, the state's wind turbines generate less than 10% of their capacity.
* Spain's heavily subsidized wind and solar industry destroyed 2.2 traditional jobs for every "green" job created (at a cost of $754,000 per green job), a Juan Carlos University study determined. When its economy failed, Spain slashed the subsidies, ending thousands of green jobs and leaving hundreds of companies on the verge of bankruptcy.
* Germany's solar power program was able to create more jobs via subsidies than it destroyed through soaring energy prices only because the rest of Europe purchased its expensive solar panels during good economic times. German green jobs are now disappearing, because Europe's economy is crashing and China is leading the world in manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels
* China is leading, because it is mining the minerals, paying factory workers low wages, and using cheap coal-based electricity to power factories that do not operate under US or EU pollution restrictions.
* In England, climate taxes and a mandated switch to "green" energy have sent average annual household energy bills soaring from $1,600 in 2005 to nearly $2,250 at the end of 2009. They are expected to rise another $180 this year.
* Britain's National Housing Federation reported that 25,000 more people died during the 2007-2008 winter than during the summer. Most were elderly people on fixed incomes, who had circulatory or respiratory problems and couldn't afford adequate heat.
"This is not the direction Americans want to go," said Innis. "We cannot afford the subsidies, soaring energy prices, unemployment and environmental degradation that so-called green energy would cost."
New York, NY