The Blind Leading the Blind

Governor Shumlin’s pronouncements seem to be getting more surreal every day.  In the face of growing support from the state’s business community for Vermont Yankee, he had this to say:

The Governor said he “firmly believe[d] that we made the right judgment” in not extending the license. “Renewable energy is going to create jobs…[we’re going] to show the rest of the nation the faster we get off our addiction to expensive oil, the faster we prosper as a state.”

For full coverage on his latest press coverage, check out Angela Chagnon’s latest True North Update.  So, we are make up for the job losses created by the shutting down of Vermont Yankee from creation of green jobs. It seems to me that this has been tried before.  The path of green jobs as the means of economic expansion has already been traveled by Spain with disastrous results. According to a comprehensive March of 2009 study of Spain’s experiment:

“Europe’s current policy and strategy for supporting the so-called “green jobs” or renewable energy dates back to 1997, and has become one of the principal justifications for U.S. “green jobs” proposals. Yet an examination of Europe’s experience reveals these policies to be terribly economically counterproductive.

This study is important for several reasons. First is that the Spanish experience is considered a leading example to be followed by many policy advocates and politicians.  This study marks the very first time a critical analysis of the actual performance and impact has been made. Most important, it demonstrates that the Spanish/EU-style “green jobs” agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs, detailing this in terms of jobs destroyed per job created and the net destruction per installed MW.”

To be more precise:

“Optimistically treating European Commission partially funded data1, we find that for every renewable energy job that the State manages to finance, Spain’s experience cited by President Obama as a model reveals with high confidence, by two different methods, that the U.S. should expect a loss of at least 2.2 jobs on average, or about 9 jobs lost for every 4 created, to which we have to add those jobs that non-subsidized investments with the same resources would have created.”

Promoting the fantasy that we will recoup the job losses created by shutting down Vermont Yankee with jobs from the “renewable energy” sector looks like a clear case of the “blind leading the blind”.