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‘Green Jobs’ Report Biased

October 29, 2009
The Intelligencer

"Consider the source" always has been good advice. It is so particularly now, during debate over climate change legislation.

Ohioans are split in regard to the idea, with their delegation in Congress reflecting that disagreement. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, favors climate change legislation. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, expressed concern about it this week, asking, "Why are we trying to jam down this legislation now? Wouldn't it be smarter to take our time and do it right?"

Voinovich is right, but President Barack Obama and liberal lawmakers insist that climate change is a problem requiring action right now - in spite of the damage current proposals would do to the economy.

In reaction to questions about the havoc climate change proposals would cause, liberals have trotted out their "green jobs" claims. Devastating the coal industry, along with regions of the country that rely on electricity generated by coal, is no problem, the liberals insist. Why, millions of new "green jobs" would be created by new limits on carbon emissions, they maintain.

A new report on the subject was released this week. The report, by the Ohio Business Council for a Clean Economy, claims that the state would gain as many as 61,000 jobs if strict new emissions limits are mandated. The average household income would increase by $992 in slightly more than a decade, the report adds.

That is nonsense. Beyond any reasonable doubt, Ohio would suffer a net loss of jobs if climate change legislation becomes a reality. Households would pay much more for electricity, suffering a net decrease in income.

But what about the report? Consider the source: The council's business members are primarily companies dealing in advanced technology, including several that specialize in energy. Climate change legislation that wrecks the coal and coal-fired electric power industries would benefit them directly - even though it would hit most Ohioans hard in the pocketbook. In other words, the council has a hidden agenda.

So do many members of Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is an excellent example. Only about 1 percent of the electricity used in her state is generated by burning coal. A law financially penalizing residents and businesses in states more reliant on coal would help Californians compete. Of course Pelosi likes the "cap and trade" bill.

Many of the strongest voices in favor of climate change legislation have conflicts of interest in regard to it. Believing them is ignoring the reality that their interests do not coincide with ours.

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