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Europe's energy policy in the past 50 years has been one of its biggest failures, but the bloc's increased dependency on Russia is pressuring member states to adopt a common strategy, the EU's ambassador to Washington, John Bruton, has said.
The EU only acts when faced with a crisis, is less results-oriented than the US and has trouble selling itself as the world's only "multinational democracy," Mr Bruton said on Wednesday (27 May).
We should study what the Europeans are doing with regard to energy and the environment, and then generally do the opposite. Sadly, indications are that the Obama administration will ignore the accumulated evidence of Europe's energy failings and instead emulate some of the worst aspects of policies across the pond.
Turns out there really is a downside to forcing the marketplace to shift to energy sources that are less economical than those currently used. Spain, which instituted a green jobs program a decade ago, found this out the hard way.
A study by researchers at King Juan Carlos University found that 2.2 jobs were destroyed for every green job created through government mechanisms, and those green jobs are rarely permanent.
Obama has touted the Spanish experience as a model for the United States, but the study's authors deem those policies "terribly economically counterproductive." Simply put, they wrote, "the Spanish/EU-style ‘green jobs' agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs." The study has been condemned by former President Bill Clinton and left-wing groups such as the Center for American Progress, a sign that its findings have touched a nerve in the United States.
Emissions have soared in most industrialized European nations during the plan's first phase, in most cases more than in the United States during the same period. Moreover, cap-and-trade has led to substantial increases in electricity bills for European consumers, hindering economic growth.