Chris Horner from the Competitive Enterprise Institute is at it again, doing his best Sherlock Holmes imitation. After a Spanish study warned that renewable energy policies destroy more jobs than they aim to create, the Department of Energy released a strong rebuttal, claiming the report lacked rigor. A CEI-submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request shows how the DOE’s critique of the foreign study came to fruition.
What transpired is difficult to discern with precision, as DOE continues to withhold numerous responsive documents. But it is clear that senior staff in Ms. Zoi’s office, and another under her authority, were told by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) of its concern over the foreign economic analysis because of the media and policymaker attention it was receiving.
The questions raised about green jobs also threatened the vast increase in Department of Energy spending to pursue green jobs. The Obama administration has poured cash into renewable-energy efficiency and renewable energy with abandon. One such program at the department has grown from a budget of $1.7 billion in 2008 to $18 billion in 2009.
What is clear is that the Department of Energy then worked with Center for American Progress and the industry lobby AWEA to produce an attack that would serve all their interests.”
More on the timeline of these events can be found on Horner’s blog post at PajamasMedia. One would be foolish to think that President Obama could do away with special interest politicking in Congress. Founding Father Ben Franklin said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” As lobbyists work with government to maker America’s energy decisions, more money will be available for handouts and preferential treatment. It is clear this government is committed to transitioning to a “clean energy economy” whether the economics stands behind it or not.
Meanwhile the administration is dragging its feet on something the public and the economics support: offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. Despite the fact that nearly 70 percent of Americans are in favor of offshore drilling, “Interior Secretary Ken Salazar dropped some hints Wednesday about his long-awaited policy on offshore oil-and-gas drilling in federal waters, which he hopes to announce later this month. Salazar said Interior’s next five-year offshore leasing plan will run from 2012-2017, rather than upending the current 2007-2012 program.”
President Obama said in his State of the Union address that the government needs to make “ tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.” Offshore exploration and drilling increases energy supply, creates jobs and bring in federal and state revenue. The tough part must be convincing the American people why we’re delaying these activities.