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Scrutiny
 
GREEN JOBS: US
Many stones killing neither bird!
The green energy/jobs promise isn’t working, so what’s Barack’s Plan B?
Issue Date - 10/11/2011
 
Barack Obama, the president of US, once promised that he would create 5 million green jobs over 10 years. He promised $2.4 billion for green jobs in 2009, mainly to make batteries for electric cars. California Governor Jerry Brown pledged to create 500,000 clean technology jobs when he made his successful comeback bid. Both seem to have bitten more than they could chew.

According to a study, which has been released by non-partisan Brookings Institution, all clean technology jobs are just 2% of total employment all over the nation. The study has revealed that jobs in the cleantech industry rose by half a million between 2003 and 2010, at an annual rate of 3.4%, a growth that lagged the overall employment growth in the national economy (4.2%, excluding job losses from establishments that closed down) during the period. Obama’s green dream is falling apart as well. To illustrate, a huge amount of around $450 million was planned for what was called Retrofit Ramp Up, a program by the Department of Energy to make houses insulated and more energy efficient. Seattle was selected for receiving $20 million of this funding, and it was projected to get around 2000 green jobs. Till the beginning of August this year, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs had been created. So far, around $162 million has been spent by Department of Labour to train and employ people in “green jobs”, which could help only 8,035 people getting jobs. But after six months, only 1,033 were still on the job. There are pockets of successes in areas like wind, solar and smart grids, but the overall story isn’t encouraging. Unless the cleantech business ventures really scale up, excite consumers with their offerings and even move into export markets, things may not really change on the environment or the employment front .

 

          

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