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Democrats Wants More Green Jobs Projects, But People Say They're Not Seeing The Jobs | Missouri Political News Service

Democrats Wants More Green Jobs Projects, But People Say They’re Not Seeing The Jobs

August 30th, 2011 by jjjameson · No Comments

The AP writes today, “A clean energy revolution is under way in the United States but isn’t happening quickly enough, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. . . . Reid said he expects clean energy projects to be part of jobs bills the Senate will consider when it returns to session next week.”

But a report in National Journal today suggests that all the spending and promises about green jobs haven’t amounted to much, especially in Sen. Reid’s home state of Nevada. National Journal writes, “Reid’s passionate personal commitment to the promise of renewable energy . . . is visibly evident throughout his home state. In the scorched desert 20 miles outside of Searchlight is a vast million-panel solar electricity array, similar to more than 60 other major solar, geothermal, and wind projects that Reid has worked tirelessly to bring to the state. . . . In his politically divided home state, Reid has worked to sell a Nevadan clean-energy economic sector to farmers, ranchers, miners, and the millions of Nevadans who’ve lost their homes and jobs, making Nevada’s 12.9 percent unemployment rate the highest in the country. The hope is that clean-energy jobs can help diversify a state economy that for decades ran on gambling, mining and prostitution–and replace thousands of construction jobs lost in Las Vegas as tourism plummeted and new casino construction slowed.”

“So what do Nevadans think?” National Journal asks. “Interviews with about two dozen voters in Searchlight, Las Vegas, and the key swing city of Henderson yielded remarkably similar responses: The clean-energy boom may have brought a sliver of new jobs, but nowhere near what’s needed to restore Nevada’s staggering economy. ‘Name one person in this town who has a job in the solar industry,’ said Tim Williams, a bartender at the Searchlight Nugget, where Reid is a regular when he’s in town. A dozen patrons shook their heads. ‘I don’t think clean energy is a bad thing, but it’s not bringing us any jobs,’ said Williams . . . . Kirstin Peart, a tileworker who lost her job in Las Vegas about 18 months ago and came out to Searchlight to find work in the mines, said she doesn’t know anybody who has found employment in the renewable energy industry. “The solar places don’t hire anybody from Nevada,” she said. “It’s all people from California, Arizona–there’s very few from Nevada. But there’s so many people in Nevada [who] need the jobs. The unemployment rate is horrible right now. People are hurting bad.”

According to National Journal, “Complaints that the renewable energy industry creates relatively few jobs is probably accurate, say energy and economic experts. . . . Energy experts say while the administration should press policies to scale up innovative new sources of energy to wean the nation off oil, they may not become the massive job generators Obama claims—and certainly not in the next couple of years. . . . ‘This claim was false from the beginning. The claim that you were going to get lots of cost-effective, viable jobs with the green energy revolution was always highly suspicious,’ said David Victor, an expert on energy policy and co-director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California, San Diego. ‘For now, the industry’s dependent on subsidies, and if the subsidies go, the jobs go.’”


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