Only Green Jobs Count

 | Nov 11, 2011 | 7:37 AM EST
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The president is too green to embrace where the jobs are. He doesn't understand the multiplier effect of the non-green jobs and he is too willing to let his agencies sacrifice those jobs and opportunities on the green altar.

That's how you have to look at what's going on right now with the oil and gas industry in this country. When you see numbers that show some employment growth despite the trimming of government jobs and the endless firings in the financial sector and the absence of new single-family home construction, you must be thinking oil and gas.

The shale revolution is now so big and the ripple effect is in so many states, whether it be pipelines or fractionation plants or railroads or trucks or barges or chemical plants and refineries, that it has actually begun to impact GDP.

That's amazing, considering how this president either had disdain for or doesn't care about the kinds of jobs it creates. But I have to tell you that when I see the kinds of numbers that Airgas (ARG) is putting up, for instance, a company that provides the gasses for much of the oil and gas and chemical industries, I amazed about how this industry has become a genuine boom.

Yet, the only time you hear about it from the White House is when it plays politics with it, as is going on with the Keystone Pipeline, which if done right, with maximum environmental protections such as ones that far exceed what we put up with in the coal extraction industry, can put a ton of people to work and lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

Keystone's a bit of an outlier. It is not U.S. oil. It's just not Iranian oil or Venezuelan oil, the latter the most likely to take up the slack. Some say it is dirtier oil, but I can make a case that it is a lot less destructive than ethanol, which we are all coming to realize is a pox on our water and our food chain, but helps you get elected in a system that no one trusts to do the right thing anymore.

But North Dakota is not an outlier. It is a place that needs people, able-bodied non-college grads, to help get American oil and gas to places that it is needed. There just aren't enough people to build the pipelines or the rails and operate the rigs.

Those are brown jobs, though. They don't count. Solyndra jobs, now they count.

Now, the economics of the industry is such that the president could argue it will take care of itself. But that's not the point. We have shortage of higher-paying good jobs that don't need college training or just need a college degree in one part of the country and we have a surfeit of people with those talents in another. Do you think that if the jobs weren't connected to oil and gas, to brown so to speak, the president wouldn't be driving the bus himself to get people up there?

Only green jobs count.

It's like that on the other end, too. We would willingly drive dirty industry jobs to Mexico, rather than have them here, even as those are also the kind of jobs that are sorely lacking.

So, the boom goes on unaided simply because it is a boom in a not-as-clean industry, No matter that it lessens the trade imbalance and makes us more independent of the countries that we are spending hundreds of billions of military dollars to protect ourselves against. No matter that as many as 300,000 jobs could be created if we just give the Midwest some help in the infrastructure needed to handle the rush.

It ain't green. So it is the enemy.

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