Friday, December 18, 2009

The Green Jobs Delusion - Ronald Bailey

Copenhagen, December 17—“It’s all about the jobs,” declared U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her remarks at the Copenhagen climate change conference today. To hear Pelosi talk, saving the planet from climate doom is incidental to making sure Americans are employed making windmills, solar panels, electric cars, and weatherizing houses. Speaker Pelosi is heading up a 20-person congressional delegation here in Denmark, including such luminaries as Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). The monikers of the latter two solons—Waxman-Markey—are shorthand for the American Clean Energy and Security Act cap-and-trade bill that passed the House last June. The bill would require the U.S. to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Joining in the jobs theme, Rep. Markey also declared that the Waxman-Markey bill “is something that is going to create a technological revolution.” At his press conference the day before, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who is a co-sponsor of an energy and climate change bill in the Senate, similarly asserted, “Our bill is essentially a jobs bill.” Markey predicted that the scale of the changes sparked by congressional climate change legislation would exceed the telecommunications and Internet booms of the 1990s. So will new climate change policy spark a clean energy revolution? Read more.

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