Politico reports today, “President Barack Obama heads to an energy plant in North Carolina on Monday to talk once again about the job-creating power of a green economy. The catch? Nearly three years into Obama’s presidency, the White House can’t point to much solid evidence that significant numbers of Americans are scoring the green jobs the president has been touting. Monthly Labor Department employment reports say nothing about the new clean energy workforce, while an effort to document how many Americans actually make a living in the ‘green collar’ field may not be done by November 2012.”
On top of that, it turns out that the company Obama is visiting today, Cree, Inc, is in fact creating jobs in China. First noticed by the Daily Caller, Cree announced in 2009 it was opening a factory in China. At the time, the Cree press release said, “More than half of Cree’s employees work in China, mostly at the current Huizhou factory.” Further, as the Daily Caller notes, Cree has been “a major recipient of Recovery Act funds,” otherwise known as stimulus dollars.
And while President Obama is touting green jobs that haven’t seemed to materialize and companies that are expanding in China, his administration is pushing policies that are hurting American jobs at home in traditional energy sectors. The Wall Street Journal editorializes today, “The EPA is currently conducting a campaign against coal-fired power and one of its most destructive weapons is a pending regulation to limit mercury and other hazardous air pollutants like dioxins or acid gases that power plants emit. The 946-page rule mandates that utilities install “maximum achievable control technology” under the Clean Air Act—and even by the EPA’s lowball estimates, it is the most expensive rule in the agency’s history.”
The WSJ editors explain, “The real goal of the EPA’s rule is to shut down fossil fuel electric power in the name of climate change. The consensus estimate in the private sector is that the utility rule and eight others on the EPA docket will force the retirement of 60 out of the country’s current 340 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity. Reliability downgrades will hit the South and Midwest where coal energy is concentrated. American Electric Power recently announced that the rules will force it to shut down five plants in West Virginia and Ohio, a quarter of its coal fleet. The power industry estimates that the true costs of the utility rule will far exceed the EPA estimates, which of course will be passed to consumers and businesses as higher prices. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, normally a White House union ally, says the rule will destroy 50,000 jobs and another 200,000 down the supply chain. That’s more jobs lost than if Boeing went bust.”
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out last week, “[T]o be blunt, people wonder whether the President is really focused on jobs when so many of his policies seem aimed at destroying them, and when there’s so much he could do right now to create tens of thousands of good, American jobs.” He said there are “two sides of the President’s energy policy, in which he publicly claims to support greater domestic production and the jobs that come with it even as he seems to do everything he can behind the scenes to block production and to kill energy-related jobs here at home.”
“The President can talk all he wants about the economy,” Leader McConnell said, “But it’s time he starts looking at the impact of his own policies.”
From Senator Mitch McConnell’s Office