Renewable energy jobs versus fossil fuel jobs

By I-T letters

Editor, Index-Tribune:

Staff writer Kendall Fields needs to change a fact in her mostly accurate reporting of Bill McKibben’s talk last Sunday.

Rather than “alarming drops in sea levels,” as Fields inadvertently wrote, sea levels are rising, not dropping. I would also like to take this opportunity to add an important fact that Mr. McKibben shared – that fossil fuel projects like the proposed XL Pipeline will initially only create about 2,000 jobs as it is constructed, and then drop to an estimated 65 jobs to monitor the line. Contrast those meager numbers with my own estimates of the thousands of jobs needed to construct, install and monitor billions of solar, wind and wave devices that can dramatically lower our dependence on fossil fuels, clean up our environment and improve the economy – all at the same time.

Wendell Williams


  • Phineas Worthington

    We already have over 200 years of proven reserves of natural gas. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are the future of energy that will make us net energy exporters in the near future if the government will allow more foreign trade.

    ‘Green’ energy like wind, solar, and wave energy are simply not competitive because they do not produce nearly the energy our consumption demands require at a reasonable cost.

  • Robert Piazza

    Wind, solar, and wave devices (renewable energy), by your estimation, are more labor intensive than the XL Pipeline.
    Since labor is a major cost element to most business enterprises, it’s equally easy to estimate that the cost per kwh or BTU for renewable energy will far exceed fossil energy!

    Energy costs to the consumer and business community are already artificially high doe to government over regulation and manipulation. Why don’t we start cost reduction by reviewing government interference first?

  • Robert Piazza

    It’s interesting to note that today’s (9/27) PD reports that Santa Rosa will buy 6 new diesel busses rather than the hybrids they have been buying. The reasoning is the hybrids cost 40% more to purchase and the operating costs are untenable!
    So much for smoke and mirror technology being the wave of the future!
    Until the cost for these technologies becomes competitive, without government subsidies, they will continue to be wishful thinking!