Crippling an Already Struggling Michigan Economy
Cornwall Alliance Asserts Upcoming Clean Energy Rally in Lansing
to Do More Harm Than Good to State Economy
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“As a pastor, I observe people struggling to make ends meet within their limited budgets, and I recognize that mandated substitution of high-cost energy sources for low-cost ones is going to hurt them.”
—Pastor Stephen Pribble, Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church (Lansing)
July 27, 2009 – (Lansing, MI) While families and individuals in Michigan try to cope with unemployment, rising energy costs, a crippled auto industry, and a struggling economy, political activists are descending on the state capital Wednesday vowing to shut down the coal industry in Michigan in order to promote green jobs. But their rhetoric is based on hyperbole rather than facts, and the ultimate result of their campaign would be the crippling of an already hurting Michigan economy.
According to Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, National Spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, those organizing and participating in the Rally for Clean Energy Jobs on Wednesday at the Lansing Capitol are asking Michiganders to pay out even more of their hard-earned wages on energy.
Beisner states, “With Michigan facing high and growing unemployment because of major hits to the auto industry on top of the financial crisis that’s hitting everyone in the U.S., it’s hard to imagine a worse time to ask Michiganders to opt for higher-cost energy sources than those they’re already using. But that’s what leaders of this rally are doing. And it won’t wash for them to say they’re promoting ‘green jobs.’ Jobs that pay for themselves don’t need subsidies or lobbying, and places that have tried mandating ‘green jobs’ have found out the hard way that pursuing them means losing even more jobs—like Spain, where for every ‘green job’ created, 2.2 other jobs were lost.”
Indeed, according to senior policy advisor Paul Driessen of the Congress on Racial Equality, Spain created 50,000 jobs, mostly installing wind turbines, at $73,000 in annual subsidies per job—and 10,000 of these jobs have already been terminated. The subsidies have been slashed, due to Spain’s growing economic problems, putting the remaining 40,000 jobs at risk. Spain’s unemployment rate is now 17% and rising.
The mandating of green jobs is also a big part of the controversial cap-and-trade policy that some in Washington are trying to push through Congress. There is substantial evidence that cap and trade will harm jobs and the economy.
The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis found that, for the average year over the 2012-2035 timeline, job loss will be 1.1 million greater than the baseline assumptions. By 2035, there is a projected 2.5 million fewer jobs than without a cap-and-trade bill. But Heritage isn’t alone in these estimates. The Brookings Institute, a supporter of a carbon tax, projects that cap and trade will increase unemployment by 0.5% in the first decade below the baseline. Using U.S. Census population projection estimates, that’s equivalent to about 1.7 million fewer jobs than without cap and trade.
A study done by Charles River Associates prepared for the National Black Chamber of Congress projects higher unemployment of 2.3-2.7 million jobs in each year of the policy through 2030–after accounting for “green job” creation.
Michigan is already facing an unemployment rate of 15.4% (the highest in the nation) and those who are employed are struggling to make ends meet in a bitter economy.
“As a pastor, I observe people struggling to make ends meet within their limited budgets, and I recognize that mandated substitution of high-cost energy sources for low-cost ones is going to hurt them,” says Pastor Stephen Pribble of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Lansing.
Beisner states, “If these people are really serious about alternatives to coal in Michigan, they’ll recommend not high-priced, exotic sources like solar and wind and biofuels but low-priced, safe, proven nuclear energy. If they don’t do that, you know they have a hidden agenda—not clean, abundant, reliable energy but demolishing industry and business and punishing Americans for prosperity.”
The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation is a national coalition of clergy, theologians, religious leaders, scientists, economists, and policy experts committed to bringing a balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development.
Since 2005, the Cornwall Alliance has emerged as the go-to voice for the mainstream evangelical perspective on issues of environmental stewardship and development. Over 180 mostly evangelical experts have signed A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming (http://www.CornwallAlliance.org/call-to-truth), and thousands of pastors, evangelical leaders, and laymen have joined major Christian organizations in the WeGetIt.org campaign (http://www.WeGetIt.org), in which Cornwall is a partner.
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