OIL LOBBY FIGHTS BACK
Because the fossil fuels economy is so unwieldy, the price of oil is through the roof and Americans are funding both sides of the war on terror.
In the mid-1970s, the fossil fuel industries successfully fought down those who saw the future of energy coming and wanted government funding to go out and meet it. Because of that, New Energy is just now beginning to build an infrastructure.
This week, in a surprise attack on the best effort to date to get legislation to (finally) face the future of energy, Big Oil came out swinging with fuzzy economics.
There will hopefully be more detailed economic responses from more authoritative sources (and NewEnergyNews will report them), but here are a few questions for now.
Pending energy legislation would require better gas mileage from US automakers’ car and light truck fleets. Did the study consider Detroit’s increased sales of better vehicles or only the reductions in fuel consumption? Did it consider the increases in Detroit jobs from the industry resurgence building plug-in hybrid cars would bring?
Pending energy legislation would require utilities to obtain electricity from renewable sources. Did the study balance the cost of the hypothetical decrease in jobs (though most studies report New Energy would boost jobs) with the lower societal health costs as a result of moving from coal- and oil-polluted air to air unaffected by wind and sun?
Pending energy legislation would require a whole new level of efficiency from buildings. Did the study consider the jobs that will come with retrofitting? Those aren’t energy industry jobs, those are jobs in building. Think some coal miners’ sons and daughters could be trained for that kind of work, even though it’s not in the energy industry?
Pending energy legislation anticipates a whole new era when fossil fuel producers will be required to PAY for the harm they do to the air, the water and the atmosphere. Does the study consider the coming loss of jobs in the fossil fuel industries from the impacts of climate change? When the US joins the rest of the world in requiring emitters in the fossil fuel industries to pay for what they spew, it is going to slow oil and coal like a moving glacier suddenly melting.
Union of Concerned Scientists sudy for a 20% by 2020 RES. (click to enlarge)
When that happens, the infrastructure New Energy will build with the provisions in this pending energy legislation could be the only infrastructure America has to keep the lights on.
Oil study: Energy bills would lead to job losses
Jim Snyder, November 14, 2007 (The Hill)
CRA International (W. David Montgomery, vice president), American Petroleum Institute (API)
CRA was commissioned by API to analyze economic impacts of a combination of the pending energy bill’s provisions. Not surprisingly – since API and the fossil fuel industries would have billions in tax breaks taken away by the legislation – the study found the bill would do grave and lasting harm to Americans and the US economy.
The study was released November 13. It examined hypothetical impacts of provisions in the energy bill through 2030.
Wisconsin study for a 10% by 2020 RES. (click to enlarge)
CRA used projections and data from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Information Association (EIA).
- The contentious provisions in the energy bill new, higher mileage standards for US automakers, require US utilities to obtain electricity from renewable sources and shift tax benefits away from fossil fuel industries to fund New Energy development.
- The study found that the bill’s provisions would cut the purchasing power of the average US consumer by $1700 by 2030.
- The study found there would be a net loss of 4.9 million jobs and GDP would drop 4% between 2010 and 2030.
- On the other hand, other studies conclude differently:
A report from the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory in Berkeley found that renewable energy creates more jobs per megawatt (MW) of power installed, per unit of energy produced, and per dollar of investment, than the fossil fuel energy-based sector.” (click to source)
The Union of Concerned Scientists concluded that [Washington state’s 15% by 2020 RPS] would create 2.6 times more jobs than fossil fuels, resulting in a net increase of 1,230 more jobs by 2025… (click to source)
A 20% by 2020 RPS would create as many as 240,000 new jobs - in manufacturing, construction, operations, maintenance, shipping, sales and finance - versus 75,000 jobs if the energy were provided by fossil fuels. (click to source)
Will it be business-as-usual buildings or buildings for the new century? (click to enlarge)
- Montgomery, CRA: “[The bill provisions will cause] shocks to the economy over time…”
- John Felmy, API’s lead economist, on the energy bill provisions for new fuels and energy: “All the wrong things we should be doing in a tight energy situation…”
- Robert Westcott, Keybridge Research/Clinton chief economist, Council of Economic Advisors: “If [more fuel efficient] cars cost 10 percent more there would be 10 percent more jobs…[the] economy will balance over the years…”