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US Gov't Debunks "Spanish" Study Promoted by Big Oil Bus Tour

Pete Altman

Posted August 31, 2009 in Solving Global Warming

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Maybe they should start putting this warning label on the side of gasoline pumps:   WARNING - THE OIL INDUSTRY LIES TO YOU EVERY CHANCE IT GETS.  The latest example:  The American public is getting hosed by the oil industry with balderdash from a debunked Spanish study that claims green jobs are bad for the economy. 

Many will remember the "Spanish study" that came out this spring, purporting to make the case - using Spain's experience - that creating new green jobs actually hurts overall employment. I've previously blogged on various debunks of this study.

There hasn't been any shortage of analyses exposing the flawed logic and downright unsupportable conclusions, ranging from the Wall Street Journal's skeptical response to officials with the Spanish government.

Now, the federal government's very own US National Renewable Energy Laboratory has weighed in, with a white paper that finds - exactly as other reviews have - that the Spanish study used a questionable methodology, lacks transparency and supporting data, and ignored several pieces of key information. But, in NREL's own words:

"The recent report from King Juan Carlos University deviates from the traditional research methodologies used to estimate jobs impacts. In addition, it lacks transparency and supporting statistics, and fails to compare RE technologies with comparable energy industry metrics. It also fails to account for important issues such as the role of government in emerging markets, the success of RE exports in Spain, and the fact that induced economic impacts can be attributed to RE deployment. Finally, differences in policy are significant enough that the results of analysis conducted in the Spanish context are not likely to be indicative of workforce impacts in the United States or other countries."

All of which probably explains the sum-up sentence from NREL:

"The primary conclusion made by the authors - policy support of renewable energy results in net jobs losses - is not supported by their work."

But, this study has been one that just won't die, no matter how many times it is exposed the bright daylight of actual facts.

Which in turn, probably explains why the findings from the Spanish study undergird fact sheets distributed by the related front-groups American Energy Alliance (AEA) and Institute for Energy Research (IER), which are using their backing Exxon Mobil to organize a bus tour to attack the clean energy and climate bill. These groups, led by former staffers for Tom DeLay and Richard Pombo, and former lobbyists for the astro-turf funders from Koch Industries, aren't shy about repeating misinformation.

As DailyFinance.com notes

"Using information based on a widely discredited Spanish study commissioned by IER, the AEA distributes a factsheet criticizing renewable-energy advocates' claims about green jobs."

And as the article continues:  

"a big blue bus and a group dedicated to promoting deregulation and the sort of free-market ideas that brought about a global financial crisis have targeted county fairs, ballgames, auto races, and tractor-pulls across the states hardest hit by the recession. These merry free-market pranksters seem to be betting that the people who live in those hard-pressed states will not appreciate the bitter irony in that."

That's right:  There's no longer any need to go to Big Oil to be lied to; they now do home delivery of their lies ... and they deliver those lies by the busload.

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Comments

Bill SchillaciSep 1 2009 12:08 PM

The Spanish study has also been cited by Sen. James Inhofe - ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee - in his various rants against the green economy. As with others noted above, I doubt Inhofe will be in the least deterred by how this research has been exposed. It probably will continue to be evoked by Inhofe and others in the eventual Senate debate, and, sadly, people will continue to believe what it claims.

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