Romney Attacks “Environmentally Friendly” Jobs, Ignoring the 64,000 Green Jobs Created in His State

Former Massachusetts Governor and presidential front-runner Mitt Romney — once a candidate who stood up to coal and supported clean energy — is now calling green jobs fake.

In an op-ed in the Orange County Register published yesterday, Romney regurgitates GOP talking points on loan guarantees to Solyndra and Fisker Automotive, two stories that have turned leading conservative politicians and media pundits into a pack of scandalmongers — even while many of those politicians supported the same government investments for companies in their own districts.

Romney has officially joined the herd, calling green jobs “illusory.”

First, the good news: President Barack Obama has finally created some “green jobs.” Now for the bad news: They are not in the United States, but in Finland.

The creation of environmentally friendly jobs has been at the top of Barack Obama’s policy agenda since coming into office. With the first of his now many jobs plans, the President set out to fulfill his campaign promise of spending $150 billion to create ten million green jobs. Alas, things didn’t quite work out as planned.

…So far, approximately 100 workers are employed by Fisker in Wilmington, Del., while an additional 500 are actually assembling the cars in Finland.

…Even these few jobs may be illusory: studies of Europe’s green job experiments have found that each new green job destroys several other jobs elsewhere in the economy.

There are numerous gaping holes in Romney’s piece. But here’s the biggest one: There are now 64,000 green jobs in his home state of Massachusetts alone, according to a report released earlier this month by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Hard to call that “illusory.”

Due to making green jobs a “clear economic development priority, supported by the passage of various legislative and policy initiatives,” on the state and federal level, MassCEC reports that the state’s green jobs workforce grew by 6.7% from July of 2010 to July of 2011 — smashing the average 1% growth of other industries in Massachusetts. Employers surveyed expect to see upwards of 15% growth in the next year alone. From the report:

Not only is it is clear that clean energy is one of our Commonwealth’s marquee industries, but this report affirms that this sector has played a key role in helping the Commonwealth fare the recession better than many other states.

The Massachusetts experience reflects growth in the clean energy sector broadly, which saw 8.3% growth nationally between 2009 and 2010. According to the Brookings Institution, the sector is creating jobs with median wages that are more than $7,700 above jobs in the broader economy.

Apparently, Romney didn’t get the memo.

But that’s not surprising, considering he’s citing a green jobs study from 2009 that has been so thoroughly vetted and debunked, it’s a wonder anyone outside of Fox News refers to it anymore.

And that Fisker Automotive story he refers to? That’s actually a re-hashed story from 2009 too. For anyone not up on the latest “scandal,” ABC claims it has conducted an “investigation” showing that a loan guarantee for plug-in electric vehicle manufacturer Fisker Automotive is creating jobs in Finland, rather than the U.S.

In fact, when Fisker first closed the loan guarantee in 2009, officials publicly explained that the company would be doing final assembly of its first model in Finland while it ramped up a factory in Delaware. According to Fisker, none of the DOE funds have been used to support jobs in Finland — all the money has been used for building new facilities in the U.S. to develop its next EV model. The company only began hiring workers for U.S. operations in June.

Unsurprisingly, Fox News and other outlets are running with the story and inaccurately claiming that the company is using federal money to create jobs in Finland. And now the Romney campaign is spreading the disinformation too.

It appears that Romney’s version of the “facts” are the only illusory item in his op-ed.

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7 Responses to Romney Attacks “Environmentally Friendly” Jobs, Ignoring the 64,000 Green Jobs Created in His State

  1. Of course “green jobs” aren’t real. The following types of jobs, in contrast, are Real Jobs™: (1) corporate shill (2) regurgitating journalist (3) financial crisis creator.

    And of course, any job that puts money into Romney’s pocket is automatically “real”, no matter what kind of job it is. So there.

    — frank

  2. prokaryotes says:

    An obligation to our environment

    By James A. Holtkamp, For Mormon Times

    Four law professors from the University of Utah answered an invitation from Mormon Times to examine current issues related to their areas of expertise. They look at their chosen topics not only as lawyers but also in light of their membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    Climate change is well on its way to becoming the defining issue of the 21st century. The majority of the Ph.D.s on the planet who deal with climate issues are convinced that human activity since the advent of the industrial revolution is significantly affecting the planet’s climate balance. I have both practiced and taught climate change law and air pollution control law, and I have come to appreciate how men and women of good will and creativity can resolve the most daunting problems.

    The Obama administration has indicated that it will take aggressive action to deal with climate change, including using existing authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases, pushing through a comprehensive climate change bill in Congress and actively participating in the negotiations leading to a new global climate change treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol (which expires at the end of 2012). All of this is a dramatic reversal of the Bush administration’s policy of opposing mandatory climate change regulations.

    Mormons tend to be conservative Republicans, which is a cultural and not doctrinal characteristic of the faith. As a result, there is much suspicion about the new administration’s plans to enact a comprehensive new government regulatory program. However, Mormons also understand the concept of stewardship, which denotes mankind’s individual and collective responsibility to care for this God-given home we live on. There are many Mormons who have become very active on environmental issues that affect their communities, families and health. Attacking climate change will require action by individuals, companies, universities and governments — indeed by all entities.

    Moroni prophesied that in the latter days \”there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth\” (Mormon 8:30). These pollutions are both spiritual and physical. We have an obligation to overcome both.

  3. Esko says:

    The Fisker Karma cars are manufactured in one of the “carbon neutral cities” of Finland. This small city is called Uusikaupunki and they have worked hard to reduce CO2 emissions. It has actually proved very beneficial strategy for the city. Their ecofriendly attitude has attracted a lot of investments and the economy there is doing fine. They have created a lot of green jobs there and some real sustainable growth.

  4. facts lean left says:

    Romney has mental whiplash.

  5. Joe Romm says:

    You are being kind! He has flip-flopped so many times that it must be like mush in there.

  6. Long Strange Tripster says:

    Does this dude even pay attention to what he says? Ever?

  7. Chris Winter says:

    Truly, these “green jobs” have remarkable properties! An ordinary job, say one at an SUV plant or an oil refinery, will support several other jobs: making the parts for the SUV or equipment for the refinery, aftermarket add-ons for vehicles, administrative support, maintenance, housing, food, and medical care for the worker, and on and on.

    Green jobs, however, act like anti-particles in physics. Each one triggers a cascade of job destruction, exactly the opposite of the cascade of job creation set off by a normal job.

    We all owe Mitt Romney a debt of thanks for pointing this out!