How Stronger Solar Policies Could Save American Jobs
A few days ago, the American Petroleum Institute released a report meant to justify the need increased domestic drilling and use of tar sands.
In it, the representatives of the oil industry promise to “deliver 1.4 million new jobs, boost tax rolls by $800 billion, and increase domestic energy production almost 50 percent” (DigitalJournal).
In exchange, all Big Oil wants is permission to establish offshore drilling operations on the eastern and western seaboards, in the waters off Florida’s Gulf Coast, in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and on almost every parcel of federal public land that is not a national park.
So in exchange for desecrating every last bit of beautiful land in this country, Big Oil claims they’ll deliver some jobs while also padding their already overflowing pockets.
What the report didn’t acknowledge is all the jobs (not to mention endangered species) that this plan will kill. ThinkProgress reports:
Fishing jobs could be put a risk by drilling. The API Report cites a possible creation of 100,000 drilling jobs in Florida as part of its broader suite of job creation numbers. Yet Floridians have consistently opposed opening new areas to drilling because of the impact it would have on tourism. A 2006 report from the National Ocean Economics Program cites 361,000 Tourism & Recreation jobs in Florida (261,000 direct, and 100,000 indirect and induced), plus about 9,000 commercial fishing jobs, all of which would be put at risk by drilling. Tourism, recreation, and fishing contributed $18.9 billion to Florida’s GDP in 2005. Other reports have pegged Florida’s tourism industry as supporting more than a million jobs.
And that’s assuming that we don’t have another BP oil spill.
Instead of allowing Big Oil to rape our country just to create some temporary jobs (oil is finite), why not just pass a few laws that make it easier for solar companies to create permanent jobs for local workers?
There is now clear evidence that state solar incentives are the single greatest factor in whether or not a solar market can take off in that state, yet only 13 states have even basic versions of these policies in place.
Scroll on to see what else we’re missing out on by sucking up to Big Oil (click to view larger):
Home Solar Power Discounts – One Block Off the Grid
Image Credit: Flickr – walmartcorporate