Promises Made, Promises Unkept

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President Obama promised five million green energy jobs in 2008, but the actual number has fallen far short of that goal, Bloomberg reports.

In 2010, Brookings identified 2.7 million "green jobs" around the country. Of these jobs, "most were bus drivers, sewage workers, and other types of work that don’t fit the ‘green jobs of the future’ that Obama imagined," writes Bloomberg. And there is no way to tell how many of these jobs existed before Obama took office—although presumably there were bus drivers before January 2009.

Bloomberg also analyzes the effects of the 2009 stimulus:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 set aside $90 billion in renewable energy grants and loans for a grab bag of thousands of projects—wind farms, solar installations, natural gas fueling stations, biofuel research, and a $5 billion weatherization project for low-income homes. Digging into the public records of the $21 billion spent so far through 19 U.S. Department of Energy programs reveals 3,960 projects that employ 28,854 people.

The administration claims the stimulus "‘saved or created’ 225,000 clean-energy jobs," writes Bloomberg, both directly and indirectly through increased economic activity.

Bloomberg extrapolates from these numbers:

There’s no way to know whether this multiplier effect really resulted in the number the administration claims. But if you take it as true and generously assume similar growth for 2011 and 2012, that’s 675,000 jobs created at best—and 4,325,000 to go.