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

Related Reading:

Obama To Unveil Jobs Plan During Presidential Debate

Republicans Make Plans To Ditch Obama’s Jobs Speech

President Obama’s 2011 Labor Day Speech

Image Credit: Flickr – walmartcorporate


Don Isaksen
Don I6 years ago

It's very interesting that three solar companies that Obama gave huge amounts of stimulus money to, were not chacked to determine their continued viabiity. They wound up taking the money and ran with it. Shortly after receiving the stimulus money, they went bankrupt. Luckily, the FBI was able to raid the business facilities of the Solyndra LLC company, and heads may roll over the fraud they committed. What's even more interesting is the fact that the big cheese of at least two of the companies are/were big buddies with Obama and were among the largest bundlers of campaign donations for Obama in the 2008 election. Really smacks of some scummy, low-down fraud being perpetuated on the American people. Obama is now in the process of trying to get another Solar company funded by stimulus money to the tune of over $800 million, and he's trying to push the funding through congress without them having the ability to complete investigating the company for it's ability to keep from going under. Yet, more Obama buddies about to get some huge funding at our expense.

KARLOLINA G6 years ago

Despite the rare occurrence of a solar eclipse, the supply of solar energy is limitless. Unlike fossil fuels, the use of solar energy produces no air or water pollution Solar energy is primarily converted into two forms of energy - thermal (heat) and electricity.
Many individuals who want to get into the solar power industry study engineering, a branch of earth science, or a technical field. Although few in number at the present moment, many universities are developing solar power programs in their respective renewable energy departments. It is only logical that, as the industry continues to grow, degrees in solar power studies will become a feature on college campuses nationwide. Two schools have already developed solar programs.
The solar energy industry in the US creates thousands of green jobs for Americans. Over the next 25 years, the worldwide market for renewable/solar energy and energy efficiency represents a multi-trillion dollar opportunity for U.S. firms.
So why do the AMERICANS bend to the big oil companies?

Holly C.
Past Member 6 years ago


Cynthia Blais
cynthia l6 years ago

Absolutely NO We have to become self substainable and free from oil and the devistation it wrecks

sandra m.
Past Member 6 years ago


Matthew Lunsford
Matthew Lunsford6 years ago

We need to start getting more of our energy from renewable energy sources. We have the technology to do it but we also need political support.

Marcus H.
Marcus Hicks6 years ago

@ Thomas C. The reason for this is because Obama's predecessor-George Bush-did his level best to support the fossil fuel industry at the expense of the domestic renewable energy industry-which allowed China to get the jump on you guys-just as they got a jump on the Australians. Its not too late, though, for both Countries to take the lead in the manufacture & export of renewable energy technologies-an approach which will create far more stable jobs than those created by the oil industry!

Marcus H.
Marcus Hicks6 years ago

@ Billie C, a few points. 1) Solar & Wind *are* sufficient if you have some form of grid storage-Vanadium Redox Batteries & pre-existing hydro-power schemes (pumped storage) are both excellent means of storing excess solar & wind power during good times, which can then be drawn on when the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining. 2) There is more to renewable energy than solar & wind-many areas can tap their hydro resources using small scale hydro-projects which don't require dams & back-flooding of valleys. They can also tap into the large amounts of fugitive emissions coming from farmland, plantations, sewerage treatment & land-fill. You certainly don't need to be letting those vandals from the API get their hands on US wilderness!

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

A RESOUNDING "NO"! (there are more trolls on Care2 than I suspected) We have to get off oil -- we have to make the plunge into renewables -- we have to get off the wall and start making progress in that direction, not putting it off for the future. Does anyone care about the children of the next generation?!

Hege Torset
Hege Torset6 years ago