Green Energy Jobs: Will They Save the Economy?

Obama's plans for investment in renewable energy turn cost into benefit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2008 6:51 AM CST
Sunflower Electric Cooperative's coal-fired power plant churns out electricity in in Holcomb, Kan., Friday, Feb. 2, 2007.    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel )
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's ambitious plans to use green energy investment to rev up the economy are igniting fierce debate over the math behind them, the Wall Street Journal writes. The president-elect says $150 billion in investment will create five million jobs over the next decade, in construction and installation. Critics charge that the plan doesn’t take into account jobs lost elsewhere in the energy industry.

Studies estimate that investments in renewable energy projects create up to four times as many jobs as the same amount invested in oil and gas—and that those jobs are a lot more likely to be based in America. But even advocates differ on the cost: A study released last year cited the price tag for creating five million new green energy jobs at around $500 billion.