The reconciliation bill is being pitched as a big job-creator. In fact it will destroy far more well-paying US jobs than it creates because its "green jobs" will be 1) unproductive, 2) largely in China, and 3) the cause of job losses in other industries via high energy prices.1
- We are told that the reconciliation bill, by seeking to rapidly eliminate fossil fuels and replace them with solar and wind energy, will create millions of well-paying "green jobs"--far more than will be destroyed in the fossil fuel industry. This is impossible for 3 reasons.
- Reason #1 why the reconciliation bill will destroy productive US jobs: the "green jobs" it seeks to create are far less productive than the fossil fuel jobs that it will destroy--so they cannot possibly pay as well.
- The only way well-paying jobs are sustainable in the long-term is if they are highly productive. For example, the reason US oil-and-gas extractions jobs pay very well is that they produce an average of $2 million per worker annually. Nothing in wind or solar can compare.2
- Workers involved in generating electricity from natural gas and coal produce 9 times more electricity per person than workers generating electricity from wind and solar. And the fossil fuel electricity, unlike solar and wind, is highly reliable.
- Reason #2 why the reconciliation bill will destroy productive US jobs: the "green jobs" it seeks to create will mostly exist in China, which has a huge competitive advantage in mining, processing, and manufacturing.
- The main jobs involved in solar and wind energy are mining jobs (to get the raw materials), processing jobs (to transform the raw materials into valuable form) and manufacturing jobs (to make solar panels and wind turbine components). Those jobs exist largely in China.
- China's dominance of "green energy" is due to a combination of vices (low environmental standards, human rights abuses) and virtues (lower energy costs, valuing mining and manufacturing). The anti-mining, anti-fossil fuel Biden administration is making us even less competitive.
- Consider Tesla's "green jobs" debacle in Buffalo. Tesla got almost $1 billion plus artificially low electricity rates (at other customers' expense) in exchange for a promise of 1460 jobs--that's over $650,000 a job! This kind of welfare work is totally unsustainable.4
- Reason #3 why the reconciliation bill will destroy productive US jobs: by making American energy unaffordable and unreliable through mandates of unreliable solar and wind, it will destroy American industry and with it, American jobs.
- The biggest cost of "green jobs" is unaffordable and unreliable energy. Because unreliable solar and wind can't replace our reliable power plants, they always add costs to the grid. And if we try, like CA and TX, to cut costs by closing reliable power plants, we get blackouts.5
- By driving up industrial energy costs, reconciliation's "green energy jobs" will make every American-made product more expensive and every American company less competitive. That means more productive jobs lost to other countries where energy costs less and is more reliable.
- For a preview of what reconciliation will do to American industry, consider rising "green joblessness" in Europe and Australia. Like the workers at the Australian recycling company that, after 37 profitable years, went under when "green" policies doubled power costs.6
- "South Australia's sky-high electricity prices have forced a...plastics recycling business to shut its doors....director Stephen Scherer said the high cost of power had crippled his business of 38 years and plans for expansion." Do we want this in the US?
- The reconciliation bill, by shifting us from productive, America-centered energy production to unproductive, China-centered energy production, would be the largest destroyer of productive jobs in American history. It's not a "green jobs" policy, it's a "green joblessness" policy.
Alex Epstein - Talking Points on Joe Biden's Energy Plan↩
Institute for Energy Research - A Net-Zero Economy Puts Jobs at Risk↩
The Objective Standard - Per-Worker Productivity Compared: Fossil Fuels versus Wind and Solar
Talking Points on California Blackouts
In 2019 the US oil and gas extraction industry employed over 143,000 people (12 month arithmetic average) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Industries at a Glance, Oil and Gas Extraction: NAICS 211
This workforce produced an estimated 4.49 billion bbl of oil and condensate and 40,892,458 million cf of natural gas in 2019.
U.S. Energy Information Administration - Crude Oil plus Lease Condensate Proved Reserves, Reserves Changes, and Production U.S. Energy Information Administration - Natural Gas Gross Withdrawals and Production
At an average price of $40 per bbl and $3 per Mcf, the oil had a market value of $179 billion and the gas had a market value of $122 billion. U.S. Energy Information Administration - Petroleum and Other Liquids, Spot Prices
U.S. Energy Information Administration - Natural Gas Prices
The Objective Standard - Per-Worker Productivity Compared: Fossil Fuels versus Wind and Solar↩
Mark P. Mills - If You Want ‘Renewable Energy,’ Get Ready to Dig Mark P. Mills - Green Energy’s Overseas Dependence
In 2019 more than 8 times as much solar PV module capacity was imported as manufactured in the US. Most of the US imports come from Southeast Asia and China has a tight grip on key mineral production, refining, and across the supply chains of components.
U.S. Energy Information Administration - Annual Solar Photovoltaic Module Shipments Report
U.S. Energy Information Administration - U.S. imports of solar photovoltaic modules mainly come from Asia
The Buffalo News - Tesla's Buffalo plant gets $884 million write-down
New York state has an average industrial electricity rate of 5.61 cents per kWh, 17.6% lower than the US average for states because of its cross-subsidized ReCharge program. All other sector rates in NY are significantly higher than US average.↩
Politico - For some users, cheap electricity in high-priced New York
U.S. energy Information Administration - Electric Power Annual
Alex Epstein - Talking Points on Texas Electricity Crisis↩
Alex Epstein - Talking Points on California Blackouts
“Plastics Granulating Services (PGS), based in Kilburn in Adelaide's inner-north, said it had seen its monthly power bills increase from $80,000 to $180,000 over the past 18 months.”↩
ABC News Australia - SA plastics recycling business closes due to $100k hike in power bills