Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), ranking member of the Senate’s new Green Jobs and the New Economy subcommittee, released a report Monday titled Yellow light on Green Jobs, taking on the “green jobs” claims of groups like the New Apollo Program and the Center for American Progress’ Green Recovery. The whole 44 pages are worth your time, but here are some highlights.
On existing levels of renewable power subsidies:
In 2007, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration the federal government subsidized the renewable energy with $4.0 billion in tax benefits. This was a four-fold increase in taxpayer subsidy of renewable power from 1990’s $1.0 billion subsidy level. … Federal taxpayer subsidy on a per unit of energy generated basis for wind and solar energy, a prime source of expected green jobs creation, is more than ten times than other sources of clean energy such as nuclear.
On the costs of green jobs:
While proposals for federal green jobs subsidies of $50,000 [Green Recovery] to $100,000 [New Apollo Program] per job on top of multi-billion dollar federal renewable energy tax subsidies may not seem to make economic sense, State and local governments in some cases are paying even higher tax and grant subsidies per green job to attract new green job manufacturing to their locales. … Several per job taxpayer subsidies ranged well over $100,000 per job.
On the cost of renewable energy:
Comparisons of wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas and coal sources of power coming on line by 2015 show that solar power will be 173% more expensive per unit of energy delivered than traditional coal power, 140% more than nuclear power and natural gas and 92% more expensive than wind power. Wind power is 42% more expensive than nuclear and natural gas power.
On the reliability of wind and solar power:
Even this analysis understates the cost of wind and solar power given the additional source of power that is needed when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. Wind and solar’s “capacity factor” or availability to supply power is around 33%, which means 67% of the time wind and solar cannot supply power and must be supplemented by a traditional energy source such as nuclear, natural gas or coal.
On low green job pay:
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly earnings of a manufacturing worker is $18.00 per hour. However, a majority of surveyed wind and solar manufacturing plants paid their green jobs workers less.
On lost jobs from higher energy costs:
Climate legislation would also force massive job loss, especially in energy dependent manufacturing sectors. Workers manufacturing steel, aluminum, cement, fertilizer, plastics, pharmaceuticals or assembling just about any product all need large amounts of energy as part of their manufacturing process. Higher energy costs would force energy-intensive manufacturers to cut costs, including through a reduction in their workforce or relocation to foreign countries with cheaper energy costs. Experts estimated that climate legislation the Senate debated last year would kill between 1.2 million and 1.8 million by 2020 and 3 million to 4 million by 2030.
On lost jobs from green malinvestment:
Each dollar sent to the government in the form of climate legislation fees or additional taxes to provide a green job subsudy is a dollar that a person or firm could not invest in new job creation. …A study of the Spanish renewable energy experience put Spanish investment at the equivalent of $37 billion to sustain 50,200 jobs through wind, mini-hydo and photovoltaix programs. … Comparing the amount of capital the private sector employed per worker to the level of government subsidy per green job revealed that the private sector creates 2.2 jobs for every green job created the government created.