Employment woes puncture hope for green energy jobs

Bob Tippee

The latest failure of liberal employment remedies should encourage the oil and gas industry.

According to liberal theory, governments create jobs by spending money. History suggests otherwise.

When governments spend money to create jobs they move funds and workers into activities with limited or no ability to create wealth. Whatever economic goodness comes about proves unsustainable.

Governments must raise taxes to pay for the increased spending. Businesses, anticipating the new burden, trim spending. Then employment suffers as economic activity slows, and governments face new fiscal pressures.

While governments can employ many people, they can’t create jobs. New jobs require new wealth, which requires profits. Governments don’t generate profits. They employ people with money taxed away from profitable activities in the private sector. They don’t expand the workforce; they nationalize part of it.

In the latest demonstration of these effects, stimulus spending by the US government has failed spectacularly to create jobs.

As Rea S. Hederman Jr. and James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation point out in a Sept. 4 report, new job numbers refute promises by the Obama administration that spending would halt unemployment and lead to labor-market recovery by the third quarter.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate rose to 9.7% in August from 9.4% in July—well above the administration’s prediction of an 8% peak. The number of workers employed fell by 216,000.

BLS data further debunk recent administration claims about 500,000-1 million jobs created by stimulus spending. In fact, the share of the workforce represented by newly hired workers fell to 2.9% in June from 3.2% when Congress approved the spending spree in February, which was down from 3.8% before the recession began.

These failures do more than discredit liberal assumptions about governments and job creation. They also discolor those green jobs the administration touts in support of its state-centered energy program.

As a job creator, federal money channeled to noncommercial energy can be no better than broad stimulus spending. An important difference is the way hollow promises for green jobs become proposals for big tax hikes on oil and gas.

(Online Sept. 4, 2009; author’s e-mail: bobt@ogjonline.com)

Related Articles

Twists of activists’ dogma freshens view of global warming


Fresh perspective on global warming, a topic that needs it, comes from a geologist.

FourPoint Energy to acquire Anadarko basin assets from Chesapeake

07/02/2015 FourPoint Energy LLC, a privately owned Denver company, plans to acquire oil and gas assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiaries Chesapeake Ex...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

Forum extends study of subsea integrity


Work by an industry forum called SURF IM Network, which studies oil and gas subsea integrity management, has been extended by 3 years.

Survey begins of collaboration on the UKCS


Deloitte has begun a survey about collaboration in the oil and gas producing industry of the UK Continental Shelf.

Court rejects BP, Anadarko Macondo appeals

06/30/2015 BP PLC and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. have lost separate appeals to the US Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court decision expanding their financial...

Firms form Powder River basin logistics JV

06/29/2015 NGL Energy Partners LP, Tulsa, and Meritage Midstream Services II LLC, Denver, have formed a joint venture to develop crude oil gathering and water...
White Papers

Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity for the Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil and Gas industry, there is no single adversary and no single threat to the information tech...

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Better Data, Better Analytics, Better Decisions

When Tue, Oct 27, 2015

The Oil & Gas industry has large amounts of data stored in multiple systems which are purpose built for certain tasks. However, good decisions require insights based upon the data in all of these systems. These systems in turn do not talk to each other. So the process of analyzing data, gaining insights, and making decisions is a slow one and often a flawed one. Good decisions require accurate analytics and accurate analytics require superior/sustainable data quality and governance. This webinar focuses on:

  • The importance of data quality and governance
  • How technological advances are making data quality and governance sustainable in order to get the accurate analytics to make solid decisions.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Seven Lakes Technologies and Noah Consulting.


Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected