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Green Coal? Another Phony ‘Green Jobs’ Report

Investor's Business Daily

As yet another Solyndra looms, a new government report shows that by the government’s own broad definition of a green job, more can be found in a coal mine than near a solar panel.

The second annual Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on “Employment in Green Goods and Services,” released Tuesday, will be the last, allegedly a casualty of the same sequestration that claimed the White House tours and may doom the Easter egg hunt on the White House lawn.

That is probably a good thing, for if it were published as a book, it would deserve a place at the top of the New York Times best-seller fiction list.

It is chock full of charts claiming millions of new “green” jobs being produced by President Obama’s efforts to heal the planet and lower the rising seas. But if you have the eyes and the patience to actually examine it, it is full of lies, damned lies and government statistics.

The BLS defines green jobs as those that produce goods or services “that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources,” or jobs “in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.”

Its report claims that such jobs account for 2.6% of all jobs in the economy, for a total just north of 3.4 million jobs.

But buried in Table 3, “Green Goods And Services,” we find under “Utilities” and “Electric power generation” a total of just 522 jobs for “solar electric power generation” and 2,724 jobs for “wind electric power generation” for a total of 3,246 jobs.

Under the heading “coal and petroleum products mfg.” we find 3,278 jobs. So even in the BLS list of “green” jobs, coal and oil wins.

So what about the “millions” of other “green” jobs claimed? The problem is in that definition.

The bureau includes clothing stores, television and radio broadcasters, and office furniture manufacturers among the country’s green industries.

Heritage Foundation energy expert Nick Loris said of the report that “you don’t have to scratch the surface too deeply to realize that these numbers are bogus.”

“Many of these jobs being counted as ‘green’ are not green and not new,” says Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee who sponsored legislation to repeal energy tax credits. “BLS is counting green jobs to include bus drivers, trash collectors, radio broadcasters and movie producers.”

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