I no longer need to make fun of Jerry Brown’s loopy, goofy, self-spoofy views on high-speed rail because the mainstream media will do it for me, having finally figured out what a farce the bullet train is. So in assessing the self-serving barrage of buncombe coming out of the gov’s mouth in Wednesday’s State of the State speech, my focus is on the gibberish he delivered on green jobs and energy, an issue where nearly all California journalists remain comfortably in the tank for old Jer. The sources I will use to refute EGB? Not “dystopic” “declinists” like myself. Instead, I turn to The New York Times and The Washington Post.
In the beginning of the computer industry, jobs were numbered in the thousands. Now they are in the millions. The same thing will happen with green jobs. And California is positioned perfectly to reap the economic benefits that will inevitably flow.
The New York Times’ de facto rebuttal from August:
In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned. President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream. ….
A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide and only slightly more — 2.2 percent — in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent.
Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show.
The Washington Post’s de facto rebuttal came in this September article on the green-jobs program that the Obama administration had hyped for more than two years.
WASHINGTON — 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 new 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.
President Barack Obama has made “green jobs” a showcase of his recovery plan, vowing to foster new jobs, new technologies and more competitive American industries. …
Obama’s efforts to create green jobs is lagging behind expectations at a time of persistently high unemployment. ….
“There are good reasons to create green jobs, but they have more to do with green than with jobs,” Princeton University economics professor and former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder has said.
As I wrote last month, the green jobs are to our environmental and economic policies as the WMDs were to Bush 43′s Iraq policy: a key rationale for profoundly important decisions that turned out to be a lie.
Now on to more of Jerry Brown’s green gibberish:
Under AB 32, California has stepped out and crafted a bold plan to deal with climate change and foreign oil dependency.
About that reference to “foreign oil dependency”: Uh, gov, do you read newspapers or watch cable TV any more? Uh, gov, you might want to talk to a slightly wider range of acquaintances. Uh, gov, you might want to sit down for this:
What’s acutely funny about this is that Brown is almost certainly one of the thousands of Bay Area/West L.A. liberal elitists who swear by The New York Times. Which newspaper more than any other — including The Wall Street Journal — has done the most to spotlight oil’s spectacular comeback in the U.S. and around the world? You got it. The New York Times. Maybe Jerry’s subscription lapsed.
Here’s what the N.Y. Times reported in a special section of the newspaper in October entitled “New Technologies Redraw the World’s Energy Picture”:
From the high Arctic waters north of Norway to a shale field in Argentine Patagonia, from the oil sands of western Canada to deepwater oil prospects off the shores of Angola, giant new oil and gas fields are being mined, steamed and drilled with new technologies. … Put together, these fuels should bring hundreds of billions of barrels of recoverable reserves to market in coming decades and shift geopolitical and economic calculations around the world.
This revolution very much includes the U.S. This is from an op-ed in October’s Wall Street Journal:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that the U.S. jobless rate remains a dreadful 9%. But look more closely at the data and you can see which industries are bucking the jobless trend. One is oil and gas production, which now employs some 440,000 workers, an 80% increase, or 200,000 more jobs, since 2003. Oil and gas jobs account for more than one in five of all net new private jobs in that period.
The ironies here are richer than the shale deposits in North Dakota’s Bakken formation. While Washington has tried to force-feed renewable energy with tens of billions in special subsidies, oil and gas production has boomed thanks to private investment. And while renewable technology breakthroughs never seem to arrive, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have revolutionized oil and gas extraction—with no Energy Department loan guarantees needed.
The oil and gas rush has led to a jobs boom. North Dakota has the nation’s lowest jobless rate, at 3.5%, and the state now has some 200 rigs pumping 440,000 barrels of oil a day, four times the amount in 2006. The state reports more than 16,000 current job openings, and places like Williston have become meccas for workers seeking jobs that often pay more than $100,000 a year.
We shall see. The media’s turn against the bullet train gives me some hope. But for now, at least, the green true believers in California newsrooms can’t handle the truth — even when it’s coming from The New York Times and The Washington Post.