The Practical Philosopher's Blog

Using the practical application of timeless wisdom to address modern issues

More Green Jobs Outsourced to China

Remember when we were assured by the President and all those ‘smart’ people in the ‘green’ industry that, while their products may be more expensive, they could not be outsourced?

Anyone with common sense (aka wisdom) and business sense vs. ‘green smarts’ looked at this statement and asked: ‘Why not? It’s just another industry.’ And, as wisdom shows, here we are with another instance (previous green job outsourcing example) of green job outsourcing:

“Solar power is a key component of our clean energy future,” said Gov. Deval Patrick this summer, announcing a plan to install large-scale solar photovoltaic power installations throughout the commonwealth.

Just a few weeks later, the governor helped cut the ribbon at the opening of Evergreen Solar’s new plant in Devens, built with $58 million in state funds.

But half a year later the forecast for solar’s future – not to mention the governor’s other green initiatives – is looking cloudy with an increasing chance of failure.

Earlier this month, Evergreen Solar shocked everyone by announcing it is cutting up to half of the 800 jobs at the brand-new, taxpayer-bought Devens plant and shipping them to China. Solar panel materials will still be manufactured in Massachusetts (at least for now), but they will be assembled in a locale with much cheaper costs.

This is not to be confused with the issue of ‘green’ industry being unable to survive without unearned taxpayer dollars/government spending:

This shock came on the heels of Boston Power Inc. canceling plans to build a 600-job factory in Auburn. It had failed to win a $100 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop advanced battery technology. No government cash, no manufacturing plant and no jobs.

Instead of touting a green energy future, Beacon Hill’s mandarins should recognize that their emphasis on renewable energy technology and production will only hurt the Massachusetts economy further.

Solar power is hardly economical in the sun-drenched Mojave desert. So what makes the governor think it makes sense in the Northeast?

As well don’t confuse this with the uncompetitive price either:

Massachusetts’ retail electricity rates are 57 percent higher than the national average and more than in every state except Hawaii, Connecticut and New York. Yet Patrick and his allies would have ratepayers pay even higher prices, since renewables are considerably more expensive than the conventional sources that now power the bulk of the state’s economy.

There are a lot of real benefits to going ‘green’ with energy- its just that no one can figure them out other than politicians unanchored to economic realty.

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Filed under: Energy, Environment, Politics, , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. HMS says:

    Bryan, we’d like to invite you to become one of our Authors in Alexandria. You may mirror your existing posts from here or elsewhere or produce original posts there, on anything you wish, as you desire. For your contributions and participation we will blogroll you with no reciprocation required. Come contribute your perspectives and opinions to the ongoing conversations there. Contact us through the site for full invitations and instructions.

  2. Thank you for writing this.

    I am posting it on beingmiddleclass.org and will provide a link to your blog.

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