State Keeps Creating Contests, Not Jobs (Green or Otherwise)

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This week the state energy authority, NYSERDA, kicked of its latest “Hunger Games Goes Green” competition with the launch of a third round of “76 West” giveaways.

Following in the vein of other Cuomo administration “economic development” initiatives, 76 West continues to pick winners and losers by backing “fledgling enterprises” within the green industry, the Press & Sun Bulletin reports.

According to the state’s own Department of Labor report,  depressed Southern Tier counties have seen continued jobs losses across key private sectors industries, including manufacturing, trade, transportation, and utilities over the past year – despite three previous 76 West competitions.

Worst of all, the program’s own guidelines state applicants only must have “potential for creation of high quality jobs in the Southern Tier, directly or indirectly.” Even for Albany’s shameless giveaway programs, this is a weak standard.

There appears to be little accountability for those who receive the state subsidies as it relates to concrete job creation requirements or economic impact.

Is anyone supposed to believe a region with unemployment rates higher than the state average, and deep challenges, is helped by another gimmicky contest?

New York taxpayers are already paying a massive price to subsidize the green energy industry, and now they’re supposed to pay more to subsidize job creation. Why isn’t there already a burgeoning industry of green-energy jobs? Why are customers paying more each month to subsidize power plants that would otherwise be going the way of the dinosaurs?

Of course, the massive missed economic opportunity for the Tier was the state’s failure to capitalize on the economic boon and multi-million-dollar revenue stream experienced by states like its neighbor Pennsylvania, because of the Cuomo administration’s ban on hydraulic fracturing of natural gas.

The mission of 76 West seems is more press release politics – not data driven science.

Want to get serious about job creation in the Southern Tier? Join Reclaim New York.