Gallery: House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Says US Can’t Com...


Cliff Stearns (R-FL) is the Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations – and he believes we’re just not going to make it in this clean energy race. Yesterday Congressman Stearns told NPR, “We can’t compete with China to make solar panels and wind turbines.” That’s a bit of a disconcerting statement coming from the man who is in charge of the committee that is meant to oversee all of the U.S. government funded agencies, departments, and programs which deal with making solar panels and wind turbines.

Echoing exactly the opposite sentiment, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu spoke to a group of young solar innovators over the weekend saying, “The United States faces a choice today: Will we sit on the sidelines and fall behind or will we play to win the clean energy race? Some say this is a race America can’t win. They’re ready to wave the white flag and declare defeat… Others say this is a race America shouldn’t even be in. They say we can’t afford to invest in clean energy. I say we can’t afford not to.” Chu has been championing the clean energy sector throughout his time at the Energy post. “It’s not enough for our country to invent clean energy technologies – we have to make them and use them too. Invented in America, made in America, and sold around the world – that’s how we’ll create good jobs and lead in the 21st century.”

Collectively the solar panel manufacturing industry and the wind turbine manufacturing industry employ 175,000 workers in the United States. The International Energy Agency says that in the coming years solar power will supply over 20% of the world’s energy and with that growth the green job sector can only get larger. In a study released last month it was revealed that though there is intense competition worldwide the US remains the biggest exporter of solar technology — a total of $5.6 billion in exports. With trillions of dollars set to be gained by the country that claims the lead in the clean energy race and with the United States already gaining momentum in the sector, why are we trusting a defeatist like Cliff Stearns (pictured in above photo on the left) to oversee our clean energy agencies, departments, and programs. In order to succeed, clean energy needs cheerleaders in government positions, not elected officials willing to throw in the towel.

+ The Whitehouse

+ Contact Congressman Cliff Stearns


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  1. Inky October 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I am curious as to how much Congressman Stearns receives in donations from oil and coal lobbyists and corporations.

  2. lazyreader October 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I’m not surprised, government is tampering with the energy sector. Solar and wind receive an order of magnitude more subsidies than current conventional energy per megawatt-hour. The solar industry is leaving states like California for other states or China due to it’s excessive taxing and regulation. The renewable energy industry today would not exist if not for this federal spending the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars to create one green job. They don’t even bother to tally the number of brown energy jobs that might be lost in the transition. Hence, there’s no evidence at all that a green energy future would yield more energy jobs. Biomass will cost 34% more than electricity produced by combined cycle, natural gas-fired power plants; geothermal will cost 39 percent more; onshore wind will cost 80 percent more, offshore wind 2.3 times as much, thermal solar 3.1 times as much, and photovoltaic solar a whopping 4.8 times as much. More money spent on green energy job creation means less money spent on everything else. According to economist Gabriel Calzada who examined green energy mandates in Spain and found that 2.2 jobs were lost for every green job that was created in that country. In Italy, each green job cost 6.9 industrial jobs and 4.8 jobs across the entire economy. Even green jobs such as a solar panel manufacturing are predominantly located in China where labor is cheap, energy cheaper, and emissions regulations lax, China is free to crank out as much CO2 and toxic pollutants as needed to put solar panels on our shelves. The idea that we can induce economic growth or actually improve environmental quality by forcing people to purchase costly, intermittent, subsidized energy is absurd in practice as it is in theory. California is still broke beyond measure, it’s supposed green energy economy has been a miserable failure. It’s programs massively expensive and unreliable even apart from its own considerable environmental problems. In short, it has to be subsidized heavily, a policy that is unsustainable beyond the near term, particularly for a state with budget deficits that huge. The left-wing environmentalists for decades have used apocalyptic scaremongering as a tool with which to subvert political, regulatory, and legal processes in pursuit of ever-greater confiscation of others’ property and rights…..The Alar scare. The population bomb. Power lines and childhood cancer. The supposed hazards of Frankenfood. Global famine. The Northern Spotted Owl scam. The acid rain scare. The ozone hole (partially true), Global cooling (that thing that tens of thousands of scientists 30 years ago said would happen). Environmentalists have this knack for conjuring up a new apocalypse-of-the-century scenario every few years or so.

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