Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Did Ontario AG rely on discredited Exxon-funded study?




Adam Scott
Environmental Defence

I was going to write about this, but Adam did a much better job.  Adam rightfully says that the AG's report accords the oil industry reports a credibility that was manifestly undeserved.  By doing so, the report seriously diminishes the AG's credibility - at least on this issue.

Environmental Defence
December 05, 2011
Adam Scott

Here's the post.


We are not in the habit of criticizing the hard-working Ontario Auditor General (AG), but were disturbed today to see his apparent reliance on a series of widely discredited oil industry-backed reports attacking the value of "green jobs". 
 
Page 118 of the Ontario AG's 2011 Annual Report, released today, states that:
A 2009 study conducted in Spain found that for each job created through renewable energy programs, about two jobs were lost in other sectors of the economy. 
 
While not properly referenced, it would appear the AG's report is referring to the infamous "Spanish Jobs Study" from 2009.  The study was created by a libertarian think tank tied to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The AEI is partly funded by oil companies Exxon Mobil and the Koch Industries Inc – major funders of climate change denial campaigns worldwide.
 
The "Spanish Jobs Study" report didn’t actually show that any jobs were lost, but simply implied this through a highly discredited methodology. The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory explains the false methodology here. The study has also been called into question by the Spanish Government itself, and the Wall Street Journal. The study’s author, Gabriel Calzada, was a keynote speaker at the Heartland Institute’s climate change denial conference in 2009.  
 
The Auditor General also makes reference to two other nearly identical ‘zombie studies’ using the same flawed methodology for Denmark, and the UK. Not one of these reports actually shows any evidence of real job loss. 
 
These are reports mostly used by right-wing republicans and Fox news in the U.S. to discredit renewable energy policies and confuse the public. Their unfortunate inclusion in the Ontario AG's report accords them a credibility that is manifestly undeserved.

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