Green jobs gained, other jobs lost

Everyone loves win-win solutions, but real ones are hard to find. Turns out using energy security to sell climate change action isn't one of them, and while Van Jones and the Obama administration would love you to believe that the Green Job Revolution is, environmental regulations are double-edged. For example:
Chevron Corp. isn’t too keen on an injunction that has stopped its work upgrading its 243,000-barrel-a-day Richmond refinery in the East Bay near Berkeley, Calif. Its counterpunch? It’s all about the jobs.

Chevron has set up a YouTube channel called Over1000JobsLost. That’s a reference to the number of construction workers who lost their jobs when a state judge last month halted work on the project.

Says one mustachioed worker in the Chevron-produced video: “I’ve got a family. I’ve got four girls. I’ve got a house payment, a car payment. I was really depending on this job.” In 23 words, the now-unemployed construction worker raised the specter of foreclosure, hinted at the problematic automotive industry and gave a nod to the unemployment rate – the unholy trinity of this financial crisis.
This is a fair amount of showmanship, of course, but those job losses are real, and environmental regulations can destroy jobs (particularly in industry) as easily as it can create them. Far be it from me to hazard a guess at this point what the net effect will be; ultimately, of course, we will never know, because there are no counterfactuals in politics and the potentially measurable targets are cloaked in "create or save" accounting.

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