Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Green Jobs? Not From Green Groups For African Americans

"Green Jobs" is the new exciting phrase these days. But is it as exciting as it sounds or just another trendy CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) Program like the one in the 1970's? Regardless, we doubt that it applies to mainstream environmental organizations. One would think that any so-called 'green jobs' would somehow involve green groups. The environmental movement is a $6 billion per year industry and is one of the most segregated sectors in American society. None of this money is deposited in black-owned banks. The bias against hiring and retaining Blacks represents a clear pattern and practice. The historical discrimination is acknowledged by all and we believe they are secretly proud of their elitism. So it appears that any 'green jobs' will not be forthcoming from green groups.

Well what about green jobs from wind, solar and conservation retrofits? Wind and solar combined represent less than one percent of U.S. electricity supply. (EIA) No revolution in job creation there. That leaves some caulking, weatherstripping and storm window installation jobs that are currently available at many heating, ventilation and air conditioning small businesses. We do believe there is a huge potential for job creation in the transportation sector though. Minority entrepreneurs should consider getting into the production and sale of plug-in, fuel cell hybrid electic vehicles. Of course, the government subsidies for green jobs will not help in creating car manufacturing facilities.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are promoting green jobs plans. Hillary Clinton and Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA) cosponsored the Green Jobs Act of 2007 (H.R. 2847), which authorizes $125 million annually for greening the nation's workforce by providing job training for 35,000 people every year. That is $3,571 for each training spot. A major appeal of the subsidy is that is it is targeted to veterans and at-risk youth. The Green Jobs Act was part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (H.R. 6). Additional government subsidy money will be forthcoming, but it will pale in comparison to the subsidies for big traditional energy.

So although we are enthusiastic about the prospect of 'green jobs,' we should also be aware that it will not be a renaissance of employment opportunities for disadvantaged people. Now we have an idea for green jobs, but it is probably too ambitious.

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