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The New Green Economy?

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From the | The Competitive Enterprise Institute
By Iain Murray

I’ve spent a while crunching the numbers relating to energy and environment
spending in the stimulus bill. The bill will spend about $80 billion on energy
and environment, which can be broadly broken down into the following

* Electricity infrastructure/efficiency - $35.6 billion

* Renewable projects -
$11.95bn (mostly $8bn in loan guarantees and $2.4bn for clean coal)

* Climate
science/general energy academic research - $9.3bn!!! (including $1.9 for nuclear

* EPA programs (Superfund cleanup etc) - $12.2bn

* Other
environmental (National Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land
Management etc) - $10.899bn

So that means around $57 billion of the total is aimed at reducing greenhouse
gas emissions.

Thanks to Jonathan
, we can work out how many jobs this will create. As he says, not
every program gives a figure for created jobs, but about 5/8ths of them do. That
$50 billion is supposed to create just under 1 million jobs, but many of these
are in the traditional environmental areas of clean-up.

Of the $57 billion aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, just over half
the expenditures have job numbers associated with them. Those total $32.3
billion, for a total of 353,000 jobs, at $91,000 per job. These are
overwhelmingly related to the (much-needed) creation of a smart electricity
grid, and improving the efficiency and weatherization of the housing stock,
which will be a good thing even if global warming turns out not to be a

The actual “green energy/jobs” program, in the sense most people think about
it of revolutionizing our energy provision, amounts to $6.4 billion and 70,000
jobs. There may well be more (there are no job figures attached to the renewable
energy loan guarantees, for instance), but that remains so speculative that it
was not even suggested in the Bill.

* This should not be taken as an endorsement of government expenditure on the



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