Energy Pathways? Let’s Take A Closer Look

Not surprisingly, the study asserts that continuing on a “business-as-usual” energy path risks greater economic insecurity, while aggressive acceleration of clean energy assures faster and more sustained economic growth. Relying on renewable sources for 50 percent of California’s electric power, combined with increasing energy efficiency by 1.5 percent a year, would generate half a million new jobs with more than $100 billion in cumulative payrolls over the next 40 years, according to the study. Energy Pathways for the California Economy was authored by UC Berkeley professor David Roland-Holst, and funded by Next 10, a “nonpartisan nonprofit” organization.

Since California has been aggressively accelerating “clean energy” for decades, why is our economy fairing so much worse than other, less aggressive, states? Isn’t the “business-as-usual” case the same aggressive stance advocated by Next10? How can reducing economic efficiency possibly help our economy? Did the Next 10 study even look at the experience in Spain?

Spanish researcher Gabriel Calzada Alvarez has shown that it costs Spain more than 1 million Euros (more than $1.4 million) in subsidies to create each new job in the “clean energy” industry and that such “green” jobs programs resulted in the elimination of more than 110,000 jobs (2.2 jobs lost for every job created) elsewhere in the economy. How and why would it be any different here?

California’s unemployment rate is more than 11 percent, higher than the national average and higher than most other states, even though outmigration has reduced the number of potential workers in California—many moving to states with policies designed to improve economic efficiency. According to IRS data, 275,000 folks left California for other states in the last year.

Perhaps most disconcerting is that Roland-Holst and his research team relied on BEAR, a computer model used by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in evaluating their own proposed scoping plan. That evaluation was thoroughly discredited by all reviewers, even the peer reviewers hired by CARB, because the model simply gives a pre-determined answer based on the inputs entered by researchers.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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