A GOP Divided On Green Jobs: Rep. Camp vs. Rep. Gingrey

May 19, 2009 4:12 pm ET

It's well-documented that the GOP can't settle on a party leader or a consistent message, but there is another subject on which Republicans just can't agree: whether or not green jobs actually exist.  Rep. Phil Gingrey says they are "subprime" and "just like leaves on a tree...[they] will fade and in winter, they'll be long gone." On the other hand, Rep. Dave Camp said green jobs would, "put our workers back in jobs and give Michigan's struggling economy a significant boost."

Rep. Gingrey Said Green Jobs Are "Subprime"        

Rep. Gingrey Said Green Jobs "May Be Described As 'Subprime.'" While speaking about the American Clean Energy and Security Act, Rep. Phil Gingrey said: "There's little doubt in my mind that this legislation will shut down businesses and eliminate blue and white collar jobs. While I know the majority has prided its plan on the creation of green jobs, Mr. Chairman, I have listened to some of our counterparts in Europe discuss their experience with these green jobs. It seems to me that green jobs, just like leaves on a tree, they may shine in the summertime when everything is sunny, but when the fall comes these leaves will fade and in winter, they'll be long gone. They may be described as 'subprime' in comparison to solid traditional manufacturing jobs we've recently lost to other countries." [Wonk Room, 5/18/09; emphasis added]

Rep. Camp Applauded Green Jobs To "Give Michigan's Struggling Economy A Significant Boost."

Rep. Camp Said Investment In Clean Energy Would "Put Our Workers Back In Jobs And Give Michigan's Struggling Economy A Significant Boost." In a statement urging the Department of Energy to consider Michigan for advanced battery production, Rep. Dave Camp said: "We are perfectly aligned to take over a new manufacturing industry. We need to put our workers back in jobs and give Michigan's struggling economy a significant boost." [Camp Release, 5/19/09]

Rep. Camp Listed Local Companies That Would Benefit From An Investment In Green Energy.  According to a press release from the office of Rep. Dave Camp: "Investment in Michigan's advanced battery industry would directly benefit the 4th District: KD Advanced Battery Group, a joint venture of The Dow Chemical Company, headquartered in Midland, and Kokam America, Inc and Townsend Ventures LLC, was one of four companies to announce in April plans to invest more than $1.7 billion to launch advanced battery manufacturing in Michigan." [Camp Release, 5/19/09]

Just The Facts: Green Jobs Are Good For America

Investment in Clean Energy Technology Creates FOUR TIMES As Many Jobs As An Investment In Oil & Gas.  According to the Center for American Progress: "Spending $100 billion within the domestic oil industry would create only about 542,000 jobs in the United States. A green infrastructure investment program would create nearly four times more jobs than spending the same amount of money on oil energy resources. And again, spending on oil offers no benefits in transitioning the U.S. economy toward a low-carbon future, while perpetuating the economic and national security vulnerabilities by continuing to rely on oil for the lifeblood of our economy." [Center for American Progress, "Green Recovery," September 2008]

Investment In Renewable Energy Has Already Salvaged Many Manufacturing Facilities Closed During Economic Downturn.  Across America, factories and plants abandoned by the old economy have been re-tooled and re-opened to satisfy the growing demand for new energy technologies. For instance, once hopeless manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Michigan have re-energized their communities by creating jobs and leading the charge toward a new energy future. [Bloomberg, 4/2/09; Star Tribune, 4/22/09; Grand Rapids Press, 3/6/08]

China Is Investing SIX TIMES As Much As America In New Energy Technologies, Amounting To $12.6 Million Every HOUR.  According to the Center for American Progress: "China's leaders are investing $12.6 million every hour to green their economy... This massive stimulus plan will spend over 3 percent of China's 2008 gross domestic product annually in 2009 and 2010 on green investments-more than six times America's green stimulus spending as a percentage of our respective economies. This is about $12.6 million every hour over the next two years." [Center for American Progress, 4/20/09]