Sunday, October 25, 2009

Climate Progess: Investing in a clean energy recovery to create 1.7 million net new jobs

October 25, 2009
 "The Center for American Progress, alongside the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, has undertaken detailed analysis of the impacts that strong climate and clean-energy legislation could have on the U.S. economy. It looked at a suite of policies designed to curb CO2 emissions by driving investment into clean energy technology, and assessed their impact on employment opportunities, economic growth and people’s incomes. This modeling focused on the combined impacts of two federal government initiatives. 1) The set of clean-energy provisions incorporated within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, initiated by the Obama administration and passed into law by Congress in February, and 2) The recently passed American Clean Energy and Security Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA)."
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2 comments:

  1. I hope for this forum to be a neutral resource for others, so as an admin, I feel like it might be proper to refrain from posting rejected comments myself in future, but in order to get the ball rolling, I figured I might as well post the rejected comment that broke this camel's back and led me to create this site:

    Attempted posting on 10/25/09:

    From page 51 in the CAP report, on methods for estimating the jobs increase:


    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/06/pdf/peri_report.pdf
    "In order to be able to compare employment estimates between various energy strategies,
    we needed a common metric to use as a basis for comparison. We chose to compare job
    estimates in relation to a given amount of spending rather than a given amount of energy
    production. So for instance we compare the employment estimates in solar energy versus
    coal by showing how the same level of spending in each category results in a certain
    number of jobs. The alternative, which is to show how many jobs are supported by a given
    level of energy production, would produce inflated estimates in industries with high energy
    costs. If we had used a given level of BTUs as the basis for comparison, then the number of
    jobs needed to produce a given level of BTUs in solar would be very high compared to the
    number of jobs needed to produce that level of energy production through coal. This would
    have simply been due to the fact that the cost per BTU for solar power is still much higher
    than the cost per BTU of coal. Therefore we chose to compare the number of jobs created by
    a given level of spending, which is not sensitive to the current prices of these various energy
    sources and technologies."

    Regulating the economy to require more people to produce the same output can create more jobs in a specific sector, but the end result is less overall economic production, likely an equal or greater crowding out of jobs in other sectors and/or lower wages in aggregate. Any negative effects such as these seem to be ignored in the "Induced Effects" section beginning on page 52, which is instead, ridiculously, used to add even more jobs to the total.

    It could certainly be that, in consideration of the potential long-term cost of CO2 emissions, this legislation makes long-term economic sense, but in my view, that's the only way to justify it (in an economic sense). Ignoring that externality, as the CAP report here does, and claiming that producing a good (energy, here) with less efficiency results in an economic benefit because more wages are paid to produce a unit of that good is absurd."

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