If the U.S. adds green jobs, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) seems to think it will only increase unemployment. The presidential contender pointed to Spain to prove her point that global warming is a “political agenda” during the third GOP presidential debate Wednesday night:
What we’re seeing is that a political agenda is being advanced instead of a scientific agenda, and this is leading to massive numbers of jobs being lost. The president told us he wanted to be like Spain when it came to green job creation, and yet Spain has one of the highest levels of unemployment. The president is bringing that here in the United States. And I think tomorrow night, when the nation tunes in to the president, I’m afraid that we won’t be seeing permanent solution. I’m afraid what we’ll be seeing are temporary gimmicks and more of the same that he’s given before.
Bachmann was referencing an Exxon-funded 2009 report about Spain’s renewable energy investments that made the false claim that every new green job destroyed two other jobs. The paper, published by the right-wing think tank Instituto Juan de Mariana, was thoroughly debunked in 2009. Even the regional Spanish government disputed the bad numbers the report’s author used.
It is not too surprising that Bachmann ignores the real numbers about jobs created from renewable energy compared to jobs created by fossil fuels. In fact, green investments create more jobs. A recent Brookings study found that the green economy sector is larger than the fossil fuel sector, and that clean energy sector in particular grew by 8.3 percent between 2003 and 2010, nearly twice as fast as the overall economy.