A foolproof way to sell an idea to the American public is to link that idea to jobs. If you are able to convince them that your proposal will either preserve jobs already in place, or even better, create new jobs, it makes it much more difficult to ignore.
This is why the promise of jobs has been used to sell the Keystone XL pipeline to the public, and the concept of preserving jobs has been used to fight the tightening of safety standards for the coal industry.
In both of those examples, the dirty energy industry has grossly inflated the net economic benefit of their activities, but that hasn’t stopped politicians and pundits from parroting those same “job creation” talking points to the national media.
The “job creator” talking points have proven to be so successful for the dirty energy industry that they have begun using them to defend everything from their $4 billion a year in federal tax subsidies, to their $1 trillion in net profits over the last decade. They can’t be the bad guys because they employ millions of hard-working Americans, so their story goes.
But when you stop to analyze the industry’s numbers, numbers that they’ve sworn are accurate in front of Congress, the math simply doesn’t add up.