The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) just released its state energy efficiency scorecard.
Spurred by ACEEE’s ranking of California as the most energy efficient state and the fact that California is only exceeded by Michigan and Nevada in unemployment, we ran a simple regression of ACEEE energy efficiency rankings versus state unemployment rankings according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for August 2010.
Unemployment ranking was positively correlated (slope=.15) with energy efficiency ranking — i.e., states with higher unemployment rankings tended to have higher energy efficiency rankings.
ACEEE claims that energy efficiency creates jobs — and maybe it does. But do the jobs created through energy efficiency efforts wind up destroying other jobs — and more of them?
Energy efficiency is a policy of contraction, not one of growth — and job gains only occur during periods of growth. While energy efficiency may make sense on a case-by-case basis, blindly implemented on a societal scale, it is a suicidal policy.
There is plenty of energy out there. We need to put as much of it to good use as soon as possible to get our economy and standard of living back on the positive track.