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Green Jobs: President Clinton and Spain’s Clean-Energy Bill

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That’s what the conservative Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported over the weekend after Mr. Clinton spoke at the European University of Madrid, a report echoed with glee by critics of Spain’s green jobs policies (“What’s ‘ouch’ in Espanol?”).

Pity for them that the former president said exactly the opposite. From his speech transcript (ellipses in the original):

Lot of controversy in Spain now. You’ve become, you

know, one of the three leading countries in the world in virtually

every clean energy category, second behind Germany in the production

and the deployment of solar energy… thanks to solar thermal as well as

photovoltaics, third behind the United States and Germany in the

perce.. in the sheer volume of wind energy generated and now you’ve got

a study that says that your commitment to clean energy, I saw it in the

press today, has cost you twice as many jobs as it gained you. I don’t

agree with that by the way, and I can… I’ll, anybody wants to know why,

I’ll tell you why I don’t agree with it. But the point is, you have to

ask yourselves…. you young people…. if you want to avoid global

warming, and you want Spain and Europe and the world to continue to

grow, knowing that it’s expensive to change the way you produce and

consume energy, well what are you going to do about that? Because these

three problems could wreck your future.

Actually, having heard what some other academics and energy types have to say, we’d like to take the former president up on his offer: Why doesn’t he agree with the green-jobs study that says renewable-energy subsidies have destroyed twice as many jobs as they’ve created?

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