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Saturday, January 9, 2010

What Price a Green Job?

The president, the other day, announced the latest in a long line of job stimuli, this one for so called green jobs.

President Barack Obama on Friday made his promised hard pivot to jobs, following up the morning’s news about a 10 percent unemployment rate by announcing $2.3 billion in tax credits for clean-energy jobs.

“We have to continue to work every single day to get our economy moving again. For most Americans, for me, that means jobs,” Obama said.

“The job losses for the last quarter of 2009 were one-tenth of what we were experiencing the first quarter,” the president said. “The Recovery Act has been a major force in breaking the trajectory of this recession.”

The White House said that 183 projects in 43 states will create “tens of thousands of high quality clean energy jobs.” And the administration promised that the result of the new money would be domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies including solar, wind and efficiency and energy management technologies.

The grants were targeted for specific companies, and the White House said they will generate 17,000 jobs

Now, if you work out the math, here's how it looks. If you spend $2.3 billion and create 17,000 jobs, that's about $130,000 per job. That's exactly the sort of "efficiency" we expect from the federal government. Beyond that, these projects don't have to be completed by 2014. The White House says that 30% will be completed by the end of the year. Of course, that means most will create jobs long after the recession, hopefully, is over.

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