Behind the green door

By Robert Bryce Sunday, April 25, 2010
Americans are being inundated with claims about renewable and alternative energy. Advocates for these technologies say that if we jettison fossil
fuels, we'll breathe easier, stop global warming and revolutionize our economy. Yes, "green" energy has great emotional and political appeal. But before we wrap all our hopes -- and subsidies -- in it, let's take a hard look at some common misconceptions about what "green" means.
In a global market, American wind turbine manufacturers face the same problem as American shoe manufacturers: high domestic labor costs. If U.S. companies want to make turbines, they will have to compete with China, which not only controls the market for neodymium, a critical ingredient in turbine magnets, but has access to very cheap employees.
The Chinese have also signaled their willingness to lose money on solar panels in order to gain market share. China's share of the world's solar module business has grown from about 7 percent in 2005 to about 25 percent in 2009.
Meanwhile, the very concept of a green job is not well defined. Is a job still green if it's created not by the market, but by subsidy or mandate? Consider the claims being made by the subsidy-dependent corn ethanol industry. Growth Energy, an industry lobby group, says increasing the percentage of ethanol blended into the U.S. gasoline supply would create 136,000 jobs. But an analysis by the Environmental Working Group found that no more than 27,000 jobs would be created, and each one could cost taxpayers as much as $446,000 per year. Sure, the government can create more green jobs. But at what cost?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/23/AR2010042302220.html?waporef=obinsite
Best Regards
Tom.
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I have a great idea, let the government build nuclear plants and operate them as to provide cheap power to drive our economy. Should be easy as heck to do. Government has eminent domain, ability to refuse to be sued and of course all the real economic geniuses.
After all, it is the mantra of the left that the Feds know best during a Democrat administration.
Wes
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