Romney Disses Green Jobs, But Republican Governors Love Them

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set up its manufacturing facility in Olive Branch, MS, on the state’s northern border.

“Haley Barbour is one of the rock stars of the Republican Party, and when I found out he was doing this with several companies, I thought ‘Wow, this is very different from what we’re hearing out of Congress,’” Pfund says. “Then when the election season kicked into gear and there was so much cleantech bashing, I thought, ‘Let’s look at this more closely.’”

The report points out that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and Texas Governor Rick Perry have all actively recruited cleantech jobs to their states and have supported state and federal tax credits to bolster solar and wind energy and other renewables. “As cleantech grows and creates these great jobs, it is really post-partisan in nature,” Pfund says. “The wind blows in a lot of red and blue states and the sun shines just about everywhere. Politicians need to recognize that and stop playing political football with cleantech.”

Of course, having put tens of millions of its own dollars into cleantech companies like BrightSource, Solar City, eMeter, and Solaria, DBL has an obvious interest in countering the idea that these companies should fend for themselves, without the support of federal loans or tax incentives.

But cleantech companies and their investors might not be the only ones hurt by Republican rhetoric. In states with lots of cleantech workers, the attacks could backfire on the candidates themselves, Pfund warns. “Be careful what you wish for—there maybe a lot of cleantech voters in your back yard,” she says.

In the end, Pfund says she doubts that Romney and other GOP candidates are really as dismissive of green technology as they claim to be. “When Solyndra happened, it became a very visible, very easy way to target the president,” she says. “But if you dig deeper, the Department of Energy’s investment track record is looking quite good. But that’s not really the agenda of the people talking about Solyndra. They don’t care about whether the program is working as it should—what they are interested in right now is their own candidate.”

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Wade Roush is the producer and host of the podcast Soonish and a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @soonishpodcast

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  • B Wilcox

    You do a real service in reporting inconsistencies in public discourse. Politicians survive by making themselves visible, and journalism serves a vital function in democracy when you disseminate context alongside their trumpeted pronouncements.

  • warcaster

    Yikes. So much for the “free market” principle of the Republicans. To Romney it’s all about who donated money to him in the campaign.

  • djatl

    You should disclose what classifies a job as a “green” job. I’d heard that the term is being misused.