How Not To Make Jobs

In 2012 California voted to approve the Clean Energy and Jobs Act. This act increased taxes across the state with the goal of using this additional money to create green jobs by promoting energy and efficiency projects in California schools. Supposedly this act would vitalize the green energy sector in the state of California by producing 11,000 green jobs every year. Three years the results have been less than stellar (some would even call the results dismal).

Instead of the promised 33,000 new green jobs that should have been produced during the three years of this measure’s existence, it has only produced 1,700. That is roughly 5% of the jobs that were promised to the state of California by proponents of the Clean Energy and Jobs Act. Worse still, of the nearly $300 million given to California schools more than half of it has ended up in the pockets of energy consultants and auditors.

In addition to this gross misuse of funds and lack of job creation results, the accountability board that is supposed to report the progress of the Clean Energy and Jobs Act to the legislature has never actually met, and the State Energy Commission, which oversees the Clean Energy and Jobs Act budget,  can’t report data on any completed projects.

If California’s Clean Energy and Jobs Act proves anything it shows you cannot legislate a sector of the economy into existence, and attempts to do so are doomed to terrible results. A private company would go out of business if it only delivered 5% of the products it promised to consumers; however, since this is not a business they can keep on taking taxpayer money.

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