American Elephants

Obama’s Useless and Unprofitable Obsession With “Clean Energy” by The Elephant's Child

The entire Obama presidency is described in one anecdote over at The American by James Pethokoukis.  He cites a moment from the new book The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery:

Energy was a particular obsession of the president-elect’s, and therefore a particular source of frustration. Week after week, [White House economic adviser Christina] Romer would march in with an estimate of the jobs all the investments in clean energy would produce; week after week, Obama would send her back to check the numbers. “I don’t get it,” he’d say. “We make these large-scale investments in infrastructure. What do you mean, there are no jobs?” But the numbers rarely budged.

Then we fast forward to this past September:

A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show. The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.

The good-paying new jobs are coming from the very industry that Obama is trying to replace with his fantasies about “clean” energy: oil and gas. A new report from the World Economic Forum estimates that the oil and gas sectors added approximately 150,000 jobs in 2011. So nearly 20% of new “good jobs” were in oil and gas. Some 40% of the total jobs added were in low-pay sectors like retailing and leisure.

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