Energy was a particular obsession of the president-elect’s, and therefore a particular source of frustration. Week after week, [White House economic adviser Christina] Romer would march in with an estimate of the jobs all the investments in clean energy would produce; week after week, Obama would send her back to check the numbers. “I don’t get it,” he’d say. “We make these large-scale investments in infrastructure. What do you mean, there are no jobs?” But the numbers rarely budged.James Pethokoukis notes that the clean energy spending continued to yield few jobs, and mentions that when jobs did appear, they came another part of the energy sector.
So where are the new jobs coming from, at least the good-paying ones? From the industry Obama wants to replace as much as possible with “clean” energy: oil and gas.Evidently, the president really was surprised. But apparently not all infrastructure is equal.
If the money is poorly placed,
some investment is just a waste.