Governors from four states appeared before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday to discuss so-called green jobs. And they heard from Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond, the Ranking Member of the comittee’s Green Jobs and the New Economy Sibcommittee. Bond warned the Governors about embracing something he sees as expensive with little promise of economic return.
"As a former Governor, I know the pressure that elected officials face to create jobs and promote economic development," Bond told the Governors. "During these tough economic times new jobs are needed now more than ever. At the same time, regrettably, carbon cap and trade legislation threatens to kill millions of jobs through higher energy costs."
Bond then went on to express his concens about green jobs simply replacing existing jobs – at a tremendous cost.
"I put out a report earlier this spring on green jobs – ‘Yellow Light on Green Jobs’ – and we found that some green jobs, especially wind and solar, kill existing jobs to pay for new green jobs," said Bond during the hearing. "They pay low wages and require expensive taxpayer subsidies to create."
Bond then spoke of a wind turbine tower manufacturing plant in Pueblo, Colorado, explaining that officials gave away $32 million in economic development funds, incentives, matching grants, and tax credits to produce only 450 jobs in a move that amounts to a $71,000 subsidy per job. He then made it clear that while Colorado might have embraced this expenditure, he doubts Missouri would embrace anything of the kind.
"What I do know," said Bond. "Is that the citizens and taxpayers in my state don’t want their energy taxes raised or their other jobs killed to pay for green jobs."