The TPA have responded to my blog this morning “TaxPayers’ Alliance US scare tactics uncovered” with an attempt to justify their claims on jobs and energy bills, and needless to say they are still misleading people.
First, on Elliott’s claim that ‘cap and trade’ in Europe is “killing jobs”. In my blog I cited a study commissioned by The Climate Group which concluded that no jobs have been lost as a result of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The TPA has argued in their response that this should be discounted because,
“they have an interest in playing down the effect of the scheme.”
Why? Because they have the word ‘climate’ in their name?! In any case, The Climate Group did not author the report themselves but instead commissioned the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a nonpartisan American public policy and grantmaking institution.
In any case, numerous other credible reports have similarly concluded that climate policies will create jobs. A report by Deutsche Bank found, “From a jobs perspective, a stimulus in the renewable energy sector is highly attractive, in part because of its labour-intensity and largely domestic nature.” The report provides a useful summary (p.5-6) of employment opportunities from clean energy.
Cited in the Deutsche Bank report:
“the Apollo Alliance estimates that every $1 million invested in the US in energy efficiency projects creates 21.5 new jobs, as compared to only 11.5 jobs for new natural gas generation. The University of California Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory also finds that renewable energy technologies create more jobs per average megawatt of power generated and per dollar invested than coal or natural gas.”(p.4)
California has, through the adoption of key energy efficiency policies between 1978 and 2007, created 1.5 million new jobs. A 2008 Center for American Progress report states that a $100 billion investment in clean energy and efficiency would result in 2 million new jobs, whereas a similar investment in old energy would only create around 540,000 jobs.
By contrast, as justification for their “killing jobs” accusation TPA cite unsourced anonymous “studies in Spain.” Left Foot Forward assumes they mean this one study since it made quite a splash upon its publication. It found public aid to the renewables industry was destroying jobs. So who authored this study and is it credible? Professor Gabriel Calzada is a well known climate denier and a fellow of the Center for New Europe, a Brussels-based right wing ‘think tank’ which in recent years apparently accepted funding from Exxon Mobil. His report is critiqued by the Wall Street Journal and has been systematically pulled apart by the US Department of Energy. The latter was comprehensively reported by the Renewable Energy Magazine.
Second, TPA refutes the evidence on energy bills.
Of course, bills have risen and in part this has been to pay for the transition to a low-carbon economy. Nobody disputes this. But the research from the Sustainable Development Commission showed that environmental measures increased energy bills by just £3 between 2005 and 2007. By contrast, most of the increase in energy bills stems from continued reliance upon fossil fuels, the price of which keeps increasing. It is no surprise that if the UK was to generate significantly more of its energy from renewables, we could expect bills to fall in the longer term. No wonder the Child Poverty Action Group urges public support for renewables arguing “renewable energy systems will bring down fuel costs for households.”
Given that fossil fuel subsidies massively dwarf the cost to the public of clean energy, Left Foot Forward wonders why the TPA don’t get so animated about that.