THE BLOG
11/11/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Green Jobs In America

The "green jobs" concept was merely a new face on the old ideology of central economic planning and control, an alternative and a threat to free market capitalism...the push for "green jobs" has everything to do with funding the far-left political activities that Van Jones so adamantly believed in. Green jobs are not economic jobs but political jobs, designed to funnel vast sums of taxpayer money to left-wing labor unions, environmental groups, and social justice community organizers. -- Phil Kerpen, www.foxnews.com, 9/6/2009.

There is much to unpack in these statements, including the typical spectrum of buzz words and dog whistles in the full article: ACORN, STORM, Maoist, communist, socialist, watermelon, union, environmentalist, cap and trade, and community organizers. Mr. Kerpen knows that a good debater doesn't necessarily address the topic at hand, but instead mucks up and reframes the arguments to meet his or her own ends. An excellent article at www.Alternet.org (which was also posted on Huffington Post) details Mr. Kerpen's background and benefactors -- so I won't spend time on that here.

This article is directed to the concept of "green jobs." A green job generally meets at least one of the following criteria:

1. A job related to alternative energy sources or advanced technologies in the green space, such as design of efficient mass transit, design of LEED certified buildings, civil engineering and planning, organic and responsible farming, green (sustainable) chemicals, clean-tech, bioplastics, waste/sludge management and conversion and transportation technology.

2. A job that is related to alternative energy sources or advanced technology in the green space that is near the location where the energy source and/or technology will be used or implemented.

A particular green energy source, for example, may be a clean, efficient source of energy, but if it is produced in China to be used in the United States -- it is not green for our purposes, primarily because of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) necessary to transport the energy source to the US. Therefore, it is important to not only develop the technology for use in the US, but train a work force in the US who can design, build and implement this technology. The concept of "green jobs" taken to its logical conclusion is the very embodiment of "Buy American," which is something that is dearly missed in our country where most of our significant manufacturing jobs have been sent overseas.

Green jobs, by definition, cannot be outsourced to other countries, because of the cost and emissions associated with transport of the products. Green job holders add to the tax base of the United States, while at the same time ensuring a strong and secure energy future for the United States that has its roots in American products and American workers.

The questions Mr. Kerpen should be addressing include: Why retraining Michigan autoworkers to make wind turbines to use in Kansas and Oklahoma is communist? Why retraining the unemployed chemists and chemical engineers in the US (who have one of the highest unemployment rates of any professional sector) to design, synthesize and ultimately produce second, third and fourth generation biofuels, new bioplastics and sustainable chemistries is socialist? Why teaching general contractors, electricians and home builders, who are now sitting on their hands waiting for the foreclosures to stop, to build or retrofit buildings that are LEED certified and/or install solar panels is Maoist? How would ACORN be involved in retraining electricians, metal workers and truckers to help build a smart grid?

Van Jones didn't start the green jobs movement, and trying to take him down in "one of the most significant things (you've) ever had the honor of being involved in" isn't going to put an end to the change that's coming. It is patriotic to support green jobs -- and we shouldn't need to call them "Red, White and Blue Jobs" to convince anyone otherwise.