Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Liberal policies collide with liberal regulations

The Obama administration came into office with the dream that "green" jobs would lift the economy out of its slowdown. One problem with "green" jobs is that they don't make economic sense. Another one is that they conflict with not just left-wing union and protectionist rules (Davis-Bacon Act, Buy America Act) but also with environmental rules (National Environmental Policy Act). Investor's Business Daily reports (hat tip: Instapundit and National Review):
President Obama's green jobs agenda has become a victim of its own red tape. Several internal reports show that state-level projects have stalled for years due to federal regulations favored by labor and green groups — big boosters of the green jobs push.

The reports offer a peek into the dysfunction within the White House's green jobs initiative. In 2009, Obama dedicated $7.2 billion of stimulus funds to build "clean tech" jobs. He vowed to create 5 million jobs over the next decade.

So far, that effort has "created or retained" just 7,140 jobs, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That's about $1 million per job. The number is actually down from last year, when the EPA claimed 16,605 green jobs.

Audit reports by the Energy Department's Inspector General Of fice offer some clues as to why: Trying to comply with federal regulations such as the Davis-Bacon Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Buy American Act has stalled many projects. [Emph. added]

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