Candidate Barack Hussein Obama said during the 2008 campaign that he would create 5 million well-paying green jobs within 10 years. So let's see how, after three full years, he has done. If the next seven years are anything like the last three, Obama had better hurry.
Obama's jobs plan was based on a greening of the economy, but the green jobs aren't materializing as fast as he promised. That and/or each job created or saved (whatever that means) costs quite a bit of money. For example, in 2011, Obama toured a Johnson Controls plant in Michigan, where $300 million in conservation grants produced 150 jobs, $2 million per job. Wow! I can only hope that I get one of those jobs. But I'll bet that the job doesn't pay what it cost to create.
Stimulus money intended to boost the green economy hasn't been well spent. Green Vehicles of Salinas, CA, which has burned through more than $500,000 in money "invested" by the city, declared bankruptcy without having produced anything of significance. The company promised it would employ about 70 and pay back Salinas taxpayers with $700,000 a year in city taxes. A $20 million federal grant for home weatherization in Seattle, WA, has retrofitted only three houses and created 14 jobs in more than a year. California was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money in 2011 to weatherize homes. So far, the program has created the equivalent of only 538 full-time jobs. A $59 million effort to train people for green jobs in California produced only 719 job placements.
SolFocus, produces large, free-standing solar panels, designs solar panels in the US, but the bulk of its employment is in China where the panels are actually made. Said a company spokesman, "Taxes and labor rates" are cheaper there.
Gürcan Gülen, a senior energy economist at the Bureau for Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin, said job creation, "Cannot be defended as another benefit" of well-meaning green policies. In fact, the number of jobs that these policies create is likely to be offset (or worse) by the number of jobs that they destroy. Gülen also found that proponents of green jobs have not distinguished between construction jobs which are temporary, and longer-term operational jobs which are more permanent. Some claims of job creation have rested on assumptions of green energy production that go far beyond realistic estimates.