Gov. Inslee Embraces Cronyism with his Green Jobs Initiative

How bad does the waste have to get before the phrase “Green Jobs” becomes such a toxic combo that it disappears from the political dictionary. Washington Gov. Inslee believes the solution to economic success is betting tax payers’ dollars on unsustainable green industry incentives. Favoring any particular industry when governing exemplifies a poor leader.

Cronyism: the practice of favoring one’s close friends,
especially in political appointments.

Government must resist picking winners and losers in the economy and let the private sector determine what works and what fails. An in-depth analyses must be conducted when government funds are the last resort of funding for any program, green or not. Always keep in mind a good idea is often met with private funds because it has a higher degree of success, not the other way around, as our solar and wind manufacturers seem to think.

“Without it, I don’t think we would have a local manufacturer of solar panels,” said Brian Heather, founder of Solterra Systems.

Government’s incestual problem of throwing good money after bad never seems to end. House Bill 1301 prime sponsor Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Bellingham), wants to make it even easier to qualify for solar equipment subsidies. Those willing and naive enough to install solar equipment hoping for a pay off in the future get our tax dollars and then turn around and charge us for their extra production. Utilities are required to pay almost ten times the actual cost of electricity to those customers who generate solar power, if they use Washington-made equipment. The problem is Washington has access to vast amounts of hydro electric that’s carbon free but not an eligible renewable energy source according to 2005’s Initiative 937.

But what about the jobs the industry is creating? Now, if both Rep. Morris and Gov. Inslee think this is in some way a jobs program, they have it all wrong. What makes Washington competitive to industry and private job creators is our cheap energy sources, especially hydro electricity. With natural gas being more abundant then ever, solar will have an up-hill battle for a long time to come. If Inslee thinks he can manipulate market dynamics he’s playing a fools game.

Jacob Deschenes

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