Energy Jobs - Which companies are hiring now?

Robert Rapier recently was in the position of having to lay off several employees when the employer Robert worked for closed the office all of them worked for. Robert had a job lined up for himself, but he found it difficult to find jobs for the several well-qualified people that he had to lay off. These workers were in energy-related fields.

I am sure that around the nation and world, there are a lot of other laid-off workers in energy related fields looking for jobs. My question today is--who is hiring? Are there any employers you know of who are currently adding workers? If you have some knowledge to share, perhaps it will help someone looking for a job. It may also give us a little insight as to how the recession is affecting different parts of the economy.

Six jobs currently posted at groSolar: 4 in sales, 1 solar installer, 1 master electrician

When I do a generic "Find a Job" search, this site shows 75 "matches" in my Local Network (whatever that is):

Good question. I was laid off from a management position at a small software company back in March since most of the company's clients were themselves in deep financial trouble at the time. I started out looking for work the old fashioned way and soon realized that this time things out there were very different. In my case I decided to hire myself, no one else seemed to want to. I'm in the process of reinventing myself as an energy efficiency consultant specializing in grid tied PV systems and energy efficient lighting and appliances for both residential and commercial applications. I have associated myself with a local engineering firm as a sales associate, commission only basis and have been fortunate to have been able to close a few deals already. At this point I believe I'll be better off long term going it alone.

I think that may be the way a lot of people end up going. With big companies laying off nearly everywhere, one needs to find a niche and do it by themselves.

In taking up the 'Handyman' mantle lately, I've worked with a neighbor who is an Architect and we've started looking at all the various materials and techniques for insulating and re-insulating/weathersealing homes.

I've had considerable response from people who are eager to improve their homesteads. I don't know if many companies are hiring for this as a niche or specialty, but I'm fairly sure that it wouldn't be hard to build a name doing such work as a Freelancer.

Many people seem hardpressed to pay much, but as with many businesses, the biggest goal is to get in the door that first time. Do a couple little tasks on their list. Once you're known to them and have a relationship, odds are that a quality product and good service will earn you some callbacks or referrals.


I've worked with a neighbor who is an Architect and we've started looking at all the various materials and techniques for insulating and re-insulating/weathersealing homes.

If I'm not mistaken there are some very good incentives for this particular niche.

Lawmakers addtionally provided $3.2 billion in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants to assist local governments implement energy efficiency and conservation programs as well as municipal clean energy programs with $5 billion to expand weatherization efforts for low-income family homes. The current tax credit for energy efficiency improvements in homes has also been extended and tripled in size to cover 30% of the cost of the improvements.

I don't know if many companies are hiring for this as a niche or specialty, but I'm fairly sure that it wouldn't be hard to build a name doing such work as a Freelancer.

The point is there is a niche that needs to be filled, I think now may be the perfect time to become an eco entrepreneur, I wouldn't waste my time trying to work for someone else right now if you can be independent and do it yourself. Sounds like you are already on your way!

It doesn't hurt that I like being up on ladders, too. Just got a day of painting because the family was height/averse.. I get to tie knots, climb around.. it's the closest to 'extreme sports' that I get.

Thanks for the Incentives Info! I'm stewing over a program that might hitch onto the Habitat system, where people earn 'sweat equity' by insulating one-another's homes, and learn more about it at the same time.

The Handyman thing is off to a good start. I'm also getting some free food and childcare while I work. People often seem to like company. Who'da thunk?



Like your focus on energy efficiency, grid tied PV, lighting & appliances. I went back to school last year for a BSEE to help open options in to this type of work.

How/where are you picking up the technical skills necessary for these particular focus areas? Or if you already had them where did they come from?

I'm located in South Florida and the engineering company that I'm currently affiliated with is also involved with training and education in the PV field. They paid for my PV design and hands on installation course. Their VP of engineering has a PhD and taught electrical engineering at the local university, he also wrote the book on PV and continues to be heavily involved with education in this field. So I kind of lucked out. Obviously I did a lot of self study and have a broad eclectic technical background and interest in this field to begin with so I'm not exactly starting from scratch.

Well here in the UK don't bother looking for a job in the wind turbine industry. Vestas just closed its Isle of Wight factory with 600 people kicked out of work. however rumour has it they are moving the factory to Colorado. The heavy irony here was that the closure was announced on the same day that the UK government announced plans to build a quadzillion new wind turbines to help reduce CO2!!! You couldn't make it up...

That's OK, we'll just hire loads more financial spagetti asset spinning bods and all the money they make playing the tables can then be used to buy cheap turbines from abroad.

The FIRE Economy: Finance Insurance RealEstate -ensuring Britain has a future...


Here in the mountians of Appallachia where you mought still hear the King's English of two centuries ago mingled into everday conversations,we have uncounted new entrepenuers capitalized with naught but a pickup truck and a chainsaw trying desperately to capitalize on a different kind of fire economy.

Firewood has never been cheaper.

I'm afeared most of them will find that they cannot earn enough to eat.

I shall investigate this idea of living in the Mountains a bit further -I will title my findings "Radius of Walkable Human Expansion on an Empty Stomach". The findings should indicate just how far from a city you will have to live in order to stay out of trouble... In a LATOC worst case 60 day crash type scenario we have half the population sitting pretty with no food till they realize day X that the Government -or anybody- is going to arrive with wads of food handouts (all the time watching the growing crisis on their 50" plasma HD TVs). The other use what little Gas they have in their tanks to try and go 'somewhere they can survive better' aka Appallachian mountains and such like...

OK, back to reality.

The FIRE Economy: Finance Insurance RealEstate -ensuring Britain has a future...

Absolutely. I take it that you take a similarly dim view of the so-called economic miracle of 'globalization' as I do.

The idea of globalisation is that we (Westerners) lay down our tools and outsource the manufacturing to 'poor' countries. Meanwhile we benefit from less manual-intensive work: some of our workforce is able to find steady employment in 'hi-tech'. But the downside to this is that there are only a handful of such jobs available, and the product of these 'intellectual capital' jobs is that the manufacturing gets done overseas. So the rest of us have to get into debt to buy stuff we should have been making ourselves!!

There are literally thousands of 'economists' who will tell you that 'free markets' work to enrich us all! Whoopee!! So how come we in the West are now up to our eye balls in debt??? Does debt = wealth??? Anyone who tells you that globalisation is good for your local economy only has their own wallet in mind.

We need more localism, less globalisation. Like I always say: I like bananas, I can't grow bananas here in the UK so I will trade something I have to get bananas. However, if I can make something here then I should. The era of allowing rich people to get richer through 'globalisation' must be brought to a close. It has NEVER benefited us plebs. We are now debt monkeys to our Lords the Oligarchs.

Not in my name. Get those guillotines ready.

So how come we in the West are now up to our eye balls in debt???

Because too many of us watch TV, answer the phone when it rings, and follow a total stranger's advice? It's amazing how much refinance activity there was 3-5 years ago, and how many Americans (but more in the Southwest of the US) fell for risky adjustable rate mortgages and much more creative financing. It was the only way to buy a home. The assumption was monotonic growth. When I was in Silicon Valley during the recession of 1990-1991, the "new" locals were coming unglued at the thought of real estate deflation; I can just imagine what they are doing now!

OK, this thread is about Energy jobs but you do have a point.

By collapsing distance cheap energy has enabled capital to be deployed where it is best optimized -this is basic economics.

What do the mass of Western Citizens that have only mediocre qualifications do? With cheap energy they are competing on a level playing field with the citizens of India and China. I think the West has enjoyed a sort of 'Sweet Spot' on the way up the Cheap Energy Hill that will be ripped away on the downside. Debt has enabled us to continue this party a little longer but that game seems to be up. The one 'hope' is that the over-saving Chinese and Indians discover consumerism (and debt) and start to buy the higher margin goods from us (Design, Brands and things that need much higher levels of education to accomplish). At this point I'm not sure the Global Consumer space is big enough to conitnue for much longer how long does it take to get every Chindian up to their eyeballs in debt? A decade or two tops...


that need much higher levels of education to accomplish

I think I heard that India is producing four engineering graduates for the US's one. I would imagine that China is similarly intelligent. So I doubt that we will have a competitive advantage on education.

Think of the impact of all those people living a Western lifestyle.

Nobody ever mentions that the Isle of wight factory has long been beset by major quality problems and has caused Vestas plenty of headaches (they did not build it, but got it when buying another manufacturer a few years back).

For the last 8 months or so I was looking for a job in the renewables/sustainability area in the UK. My background is in Quantum Physics, but I wanted to drift towards more practical (and urgent?) topics.

Oil Companies are hiring (I had an offer from one of the Oil Majors to apply Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques to Heavy Oil as a Reservoir Engineer). It was with the team of people who started the project to exploit the Colorado Shale, heating it in situ. They didn't seem to think funding would run short for tar-sands, shale and heavy oil.

The other oil giants are hiring too ... Total, BP, Texaco, etc ... but it's competitive and they are looking for innovation. Most Petroleum engineers and geologists that applied with me were not offered a position. Mathematicians, physicist and experienced oil-workers had it easier.

Consulting companies in the area are hiring at the managerial and experienced level, but nothing if you're just arriving to the sector. I would still look at Kema, ABS, RedPoint, Eras-UK, and then at companies involved in particular regions (Wales, Kent, etc...) for Biomass, Insulation, Solar, Heat Pumps, and such. Jobs for project managers with experience in renewables seem to pop-up every day on job-lists (not so for pure engineering, physicists, modeling, etc)

Vestas, ironically, offered me a job too. They are laying off less technical workers in Denmark and UK as demand for wind in Europe is slowing down (in spite of all the talking and targets). But they are still hiring post-graduates for the research and the future leadership. China and US are the fastest markets at the moment and they are following the profit.

LOGICA (software and consulting with a big involvement in Energy) is also hiring, but slowly.

Generally I would say it's still slow (especially in Europe), but the chances increase if you can relocate and travel where things are happening.

Thank-you Massagran. I've just submitted CV + Cover Letter to both Redpoint and Kema and made an application to Logica.

I've been seeking work for a while now. Last October, I was offered a job with British Intelligence but failed the security vetting checks due to 'foreign connections' after waiting 9 months... Grr!

At the moment I can't find anything energy related given my skills (Computer Science Graduate) so have resorted to IT consultancy / Accountancy firms against my will!

Are there any Energy Consultancies who actively hire UK graduates? I've done a fair bit of research but it would seem that not many takes on new graduates.

I've heard the British security checks have been expanded and got a lot tougher. A friends husband who was a gardener for the local police force for the last 15 years has just lost his job because he now has failed the security test. He can only put it down to his anti war protest signatures although they wouldnt go into specifics why.

I'm in the job market and looking pretty hard in the energy industry, but with my biotech background I haven't made any progress into getting energy companies to consider me.

The best job hunting resource I have found is , which for whatever reason, it is the only job search engine that seems to deliver real jobs that haven't been sitting elsewhere in cyberspace for weeks.

Here in the Denver area, there are a lot of jobs in the gas, energy, and wind energy fields listed. From the frequency of the ads and how many it can be deduced that they are having trouble filling them. I suspect at the core of the problem is how nearly all employers want SPECIFIC experience with candidates already doing the job. Where on earth are they going to get that many experienced wind turbine experts, or experienced PV engineers? Why not look for more general mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, or civil engineers? It baffles me, and I have over a dozen years experience as an engineering manager who is very good at hiring top talent. Good engineers can rapidly pickup different technology areas and often bring beneficial cross pollenization along with them.

I think a lot of our employment crisis is being worse by HR groups and hiring managers who are snowed under by thousands of electronic applications and don't know how to do the hard work of filtering through candidates and keeping an open mind until you at least do a phone screen or have them answer some e-mail questions. We're dealing largely with engineers and technicians here who tend to be nerdy and not the most eloquent writers.

The current system of e-mailed resumes, job boards, and the ilk have made hiring a mess for most managers. I know I could do half the jobs I have applied for, yet never even get back a phone call or e-mail. OK, that's the end of my rant. It is tough out there right now for job seekers.

If anyone is looking for an experienced engineering leader who seriously understands Peak Oil and is determined to get alternative energy technologies on-line NOW, then give me a call, or look for me at the ASPO conf. in October. I am equally competent at managing projects and people or doing engineering work.

Vattenfall seems to have about 50 positions advertised now in Sweden.

The swedish government database for jobs have about 500 positions for engineers and technical workers, at least 100 of those is in the energy area.

Construction is about 300, 1/6 engineers.

This is not much but if I rember right it is better then in the early 1990:s.

I am a new graduate from Calgary, Canada, with a B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering. I still haven't been able to find a job, but I've been mostly sticking to things in Canada. The most discouraging part of the job hunt is that most of the jobs that DO get posted online have 5+ years experience as a requirement in the qualifications section. Most of my fellow peers that do have jobs did internships with oil and gas producers, and very few have been able to secure anything new.

Any leads would be awesome ladies and gentlemen!!!!

I understand the unemployment rate in the Oil Sands area is quite low compared to the rest of Canada. You might check out jobs there.

I'm a very experienced exploration geoscientist with many years of worldwide experience, and yes, I'm very much up to date on current technology. I've worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, often making a pretty good living.

However, since 1999 things have not been good. In 2002 and 2003 I had practically zero income. Then things started to improve (they would have been better if several of our deadbeat clients had paid their bills). By early 2008 we were doing as well as we ever had, but most of our work disappeared as the price of oil plunged. My income year-to-date is less than it was in 1988.

We currently have a few small jobs in process, and two major jobs (one for a major oil company, and one as a subcontractor on a large job for a national oil company) which were both supposed to start in July. Both are delayed indefinitely.

As consultants, we are finding that oil companies are not spending money, cutting pay rates, extending payment schedules, and forcing more and more risk onto consultants and contractors.

I am not aware of any oil company currently hiring in my field, but I am aware of several laying off. When an occasional position is available, it usually requires an exact list of experience, at least five years experience for a junior position, and at least fifteen years for a senior position. Most positions require masters degrees, and many require a doctorate. Fluency in several languages may be required, though English is usually the first requirement.

Mechanical Engineering should have better opportunities than geology and geophysics: it is used many more businesses, including oil & gas development work, which is continuing. returns nearly 3000 hits for "mechanical engineer", but only seven for "geophysicist".

Any leads would be awesome ladies and gentlemen!!!!

If you had sought my advise before embarking on your degree course I would have told you to 'study' (do) farming instead. Lots and lots of land in Canada, not many people. You would have found a job in no time...

And Canadian farmland is cheap, too. In Saskatchewan, which has 37 million acres of cropland, average land prices are around C$500/acre ($1,250/ha).

That doesn't count for much if the land can't produce much.

I drove the TransCanada from Winnipeg through to mid-BC a few years ago.  SK had the poorest-looking towns I passed, plenty of businesses and houses that looked abandoned.  If crop prices are marginal and your money is going to pay off the loan on the million-dollar tractor you need to work the huge acreage which is the minimum economical unit, you're going to be poor.

If you had told me to become a farmer when I was 17, I would have probably called you insane. I've only been Peak Oil aware for a little over 2 years now, a little more than halfway through my undergrad education.

Power magazine often has energy job postings

My sister works as an accountant for a company that extracts biogas from rubbish heaps in the UK. As far as I know business is good but work onsite is well dirty.

If any Brits want more infomation I could ask her to send more details through.

I work in the offshore oilfield diving industry, most , probably all of the diving companies are hiring. Always are. As are the companies running Remotely Operated Vehicles. Most of the Supply Boats companies, catering get the idea. The oilfields are starving for qualified people as well as people willing to start at the bottom and learn. Even with the worst recession since the great depression, oil trades at $70/barrel. I'll probably have work until there's not enough jet fuel for me to catch a flight home. Not for everyone, but it's a job...and the food's free.

Sounds interesting...could you possibly direct me to someone or a website that has some opportunities for some that IS willing to start at the bottom? My email is

A little background on some of the people I had to let go:

Most of them are still looking for jobs. If you are looking for someone with any of their skills, please contact me: tenaciousdna "at" gmail "dot" com. Thanks.

Dear Robert,

The mechanical engineer could re-direct himself to become a seaman. I'm in the crewing industry and have continous demand for Chief Officers, Chief Engineers, and Captains.

Despite the crisis hitting shipping rates hard, we are busy as ever; maybe because our client do not have container ships.

( Any fully STCW'95 qualified seaman may contact me at my spam protected e-mail address for more info)

Robert - Nice of you to try and help your former employees. They look like some great candidates.

There is an area of the upper Midwest that has been somewhat left our of the worst of the recession for several reasons. It consists of North and South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. I live in North Iowa and while some local industries like Winnebago are almost shut down, there are still jobs to be found. This area of the country has relatively low unemployment rates:

The reasons are many. The county I live in and many around the area have a population lower than it was fifty years ago:,_Iowa

Young people have been deserting the farm for the city for decades as farm policy favored land over people. Now the situation is that there are many old who need medical care. There are not many young who want to work in farming and who have the capital to take it on unless they were born into it.

But with the advent of ethanol and the localization of corn consumption in ethanol and in hog and chicken factories some jobs have opened up. Christian Farms, the giant hog factory operator, is nearly always advertising for truck drivers to haul feed from their Forest City mill to the widespread hog factories around here. Their new mill is located 3 miles from my home place and truck traffic has increased dramatically as a constant stream of drivers hauling corn from local elevators enter the mill and another stream leaves with ground feed for the hogs. And the ethanol plants have a similar stream of trucks bringing in corn and hauling out ethanol or DDGs.

The mill is surrounded by FPL's 180 turbine wind farm and another small wind farm with only 10 turbines. This is another area of potential employment. The turbines need maintenance and trained workers to service them are in demand. A lot of jobs that existed last year when they were put up have vanished or moved on though.

It seems to me the unemployed have to think outside the box in this recession since it may not end. North Iowa has been in a de facto recession ever since I can remember and that is the reason I spent many years working in Minneapolis before moving back to the farm.

Depending on your age, options are available. If I were young again, I think I would try to get into the medical area. I was fortunate in that my family had 160 acres of good Iowa farm land that has sustained us though thick and thin over the decades. If your family owns any property try to make it more profitable and hang onto it through tough times. Many around here didn't and lost out for a quick short term profit. They missed the big rise in land values and commodity prices. While land values have dropped a little in the upper Midwest they are still quite high historically. The big housing bubble never got quite so carried away in this part of the country.

I quit may regular job at the Post Office after 10 years at age 48 deciding that I could coast on savings and farm income until taking early retirement at 62. I'm glad I did. I don't think those in their 50s should even try to find work unless they are desperate or have no savings. Not many 55 plus year old men work around here. By that age they have accumulated enough country smarts to survive outside the work world and drop out. Employers don't want them anyway.

My local bicycle shop is advertising for an experienced cycle mechanic - a sort of post-energy job.

I'm sorely tempted - beats sitting in this office and is PO immune.

Wife not keen on the rate of pay...

Just a thought. It seems that future jobs will likely be more manual and therefore physically challenging. I wonder how this trend will generally affect women in the new evolving economy. Will they be sliding down to an underclass group?

I read somewhere on the Internet:

‘Just as coal and the Industrial revolution did more than Abraham Lincoln to free the slaves, so electricity has done more to emancipate women than all the political speeches on the subject.’

I have no idea what career advice I could give my two daughters, 18 & 19. One wants to be an architect, another is interested in criminology.

One can design prisons and the other can fill them.

It's a recession and frankly the stupid corporate culture doesn't know how to create jobs.
They've been into cut, offshore and hedge for so long they lack the ability to plan or build anything.
Similarly government has gotten into outsourcing, privatizing and stimulating the private sector even while accumulating debt to pay for tax cuts.
Another negative factor is people are working longer and more women are working--almost 50% of the workforce.
On top of that, technology has frankly eliminated the need for workers.

IOW, this system can't create many jobs.
This is similar to the 1930s.

What ended unemployment then was WW2 when 17 million Americans served in the military, out a population of 140 million. And surprisingly when the war ended after some difficulty they were absorbed back into it.

As for what individuals can do, who can say for sure.

But collectively, I propose a national war for renewable energy, energy independence and energy efficiency to employ millions unemployed or underemployed with whatever rationing is most appropriate modeled on WW2.

Let no man say it cannot be done. It must be done and we have undertaken to do it.--FDR State of Union 1942

It took WWII to get the USA out of the Depression because FDR's policies were perpetuating it.  Take the policy which led to Wickard v. Filburn as just one example.  Roosevelt tried to prop up farm prices (while the public didn't have the money to pay them, forcing people into hunger).  Filburn found the price of wheat was too high and decided to grow his own (IIRC, for hog feed).  The SCOTUS found for Wickard (Sec'y of Agriculture), and the over-broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause has been a plague on the USA ever since.

This may be a model for peak oil.  FDR's industrial policy increased raw-materials prices by restricting supply; the result was continued weakness in the economy.  Restricted supply of oil will do the same, and any policy which discourages efficiency or substitution is going to screw us big time.  A policy like paying $4500 to someone who retires a 15-MPG SUV to get a 19-MPG SUV, for example?

A policy like paying $4500 to someone who retires a 15-MPG SUV to get a 19-MPG SUV, for example?

Now, who, in their right mind, would do anything THAT stupid?!

And who would be stupid enough to misquote the deal at the top of his lungs, E-P?

You maybe?

Cars for clunkers is $3500 for a 4 mpg improvement and $4500 for a 10 mpg improvement.

You also need to consider that the old EPA ratings are about 15% higher than the real world gas mileage. An old 15 mpg clunker is actually burning 13.5 mpg.

So a 12000 mile per year car would save,
(1/13.5-1/19) x 12000 = 257 gallons of gasoline per year or 3860 gallons of gasoline in its 15 year life for which $3500 would be paid out in stimulus. This is a 29% reduction in lifetime fuel; 3860/(15 x 12000/13.5)=.289

Similarly an old 15 mpg car replaced by a 25 mpg car would save,

(1/13.5-1/25) x 12000 = 409 gallons of gasoline per year or
6133 gallons of gasoline in its 15 year lifetime for which $4500
would be paid out in stimulus. This is a 46% reduction in lifetime fuel; 6133/(15 x 12000/13.5)=46%

Cars for clunkers is $3500 for a 4 mpg improvement and $4500 for a 10 mpg improvement.
For passenger cars.  Light trucks (SUVs) have different rules:
Are there different CARS credit amounts for the purchase or lease of a new van, pickup truck or SUV?

YES. The value of the credit given for the purchase or lease of a category 1 or 2 truck also generally depends on the difference between the combined fuel economy of the vehicle that is traded in and that of the new vehicle that is purchased or leased. If the new vehicle is a category 1 truck that has a combined fuel economy value that is at least 2, but less than 5, miles per gallon higher than the traded-in vehicle, the credit is $3,500. If the new category 1 truck has a combined fuel economy value that is at least 5 miles per gallon higher than the traded-in vehicle, the credit is $4,500.
So you'd get $4500 for going from 14 MPG to 19 MPG, and $3500 for going from 17 MPG to 19 MPG.

I stand corrected.

A stupid exemption on a program that doesn't exist anymore(well, it ends officially tomorrow at 8AM EDT).

The objective was to raise efficiency and clear auto sales lots and it accomplished those ends well.

One of the reasons the program is ending is that some dealers are running out of eligible cars.

Here's what people actually bought;
Ford Escape SUV--24 mpg
Ford Focus--29 mpg
Jeep Patriot--25 mpg
Dodge Calibre--25 mpg
Ford F-150--17 mpg(big truck)
Honda Civic--25 mgp
Chevy Silverado--20 mpg
Chevy Cobalt--27 mpg
Toyota Corolla--31 mpg
Ford Fusion--22 mpg
(I am not including hybrid version mpgs bought)

The mode and median of the above prices above is 25 mpg so the actual savings we are probably much higher that E-P insinuates.

For example,
Raising an 18 mpg average to 25 mpg would reduce live cycle oil consumption by 28% for some ~750000 cars/suv/trucks for the program.

The mode and median suggests that people did not buy the lowest mpg improvement they could get away with as suggested by E-P and that the gains were significantly higher than he would expect.

I have expressed pleasant surprise over the actual figures, but how much higher would the savings have been if the MPG floor for cars was the 27.5 MPG CAFE standard?  Setting the floor for trucks at today's ~22 MPG average would have boosted economy considerably; the F-150 and Silverado would have been off the menu unless there were some high-efficiency versions available.

Remember, 25 MPG is an average.  Lots of vehicles sold scored well below that, and it's about 10% more fuel consumption than the CAFE average for cars.  CforC wasn't concerned with clunkers (you could spend your $4500 to buy a new guzzler if your old one was sufficiently thirsty).  It was a backdoor subsidy for Detroit to help clear inventory... and as you admit yourself, it was very successful.

I agree with that.
The mpg floor should definitely have been higher.

You also had a good point about SUV and big trucks. This is a real cultural problem--people really like them but I don't see how they can be made much more energy efficient. And I 'like' the Chevy Volt--far from my ideal solution but quite good assuming there is enough lithium, nickle or lead to build them all.

OTOH, Detroit couldn't offer those cars and OTH Detroit was poised to go bust if the lots weren't emptied.
So your real question is 'should Detroit, the source of clunkers be saved'?

IMO, of course. People need jobs--somebody needs to hire them rather than the government, right?
Detroit has the ability to build fuel efficient cars; they do it in Europe and Asia now. The new generation clunkers HAD to be moved out. The new cars will be much less wasteful. The big truck/SUVs need drastic treatment. A much higher stick price and a large guzzler/luxury tax.

Remember compact pickup trucks and station wagons?

Personally, I'd like to see Detroit retooled to make those big wind turbines to go around the Great Lakes maybe to charge some of those those Volts. There's a study that Michigan has 100 GW of offshore wind sites(same as all US nuke plant nameplates combined). Then maybe we can afford to finally close some of those nuke power stations.

IMO, of course. People need jobs--somebody needs to hire them rather than the government, right?

That only works as long as somebody is willing to loan money to the government to do it.  When that stops, the house of cards falls down... and there is only a limited amount of goodwill out there.

The new generation clunkers HAD to be moved out. The new cars will be much less wasteful. The big truck/SUVs need drastic treatment.

Most of them would do fine with a V6 engine; today's V6 produces more power than the V8 of 20 years ago, and has much lower friction losses.  If you don't mind slow throttle response, an Atkinson cycle with turbocharging to make up the lost volumetric efficiency can boost thermal efficiency further.  Add some aerodynamic cleanup and there's no reason that an F150 can't get 22 MPG.

Remember compact pickup trucks and station wagons?

I remember the Rabbit pickup; not sure if it was available with the diesel or not.  I dated someone who drove an old Chevy LUV, dying of body cancer but still going.

There's a study that Michigan has 100 GW of offshore wind sites(same as all US nuke plant nameplates combined). Then maybe we can afford to finally close some of those nuke power stations.

Why this obsession with closing the nukes?  If you actually cared about the environment, coal would be your first target.  FP is right about the coal interests being served so well by the "Green" party.

This bears repeating:

FP is right about the coal interests being served so well by the "Green" party.

Germany is building new coal plants while scheduling the premature closure of all nukes. Crazy.

Oh, and get this: Germany is buying nuclear power from Eastern European nukes built to much lower Soviet standards while on course to close its own safer nukes. Germany will continue to buy that imported nuclear power and will probably buy more of it.

This is a typical wacko revisionist lie followed up by an weird causal'explanation'--blaming FDR for the Depression or prolonging the Depression.

The real story is the GDP under the New Deal which ends a little less than 1 trillion dollars in 1940.

No need for your phoney analysis, E-P! :-}

majorian, You present an incomplete picture. Notice the unemployment rate in the 30s. A smaller and more productive fraction worked. But unemployment did not recover like GDP did.

Megan McArdle is a known libertarian Ayn Rand Objectivist and blogger whose nom de plume (among others) is 'Jane Galt'.

If you prefer to cite wackos over professional economists it is prime facie evidence that you too are a growth propagandist, cornucopian like Megan McArdle.

OTH, Susan Carter, who produced the chart above, is a professional economist and academic.

The ability of the conservatives to create an alternate universe of facts and figures is truly amazing.

Check out conservapedia.


Megan is certainly libertarian. I do not see that she's especially objectivist though. I once read her own description of why she took that pseudonym and it sounded like more for shock value.

But this is all irrelevant. I could have linked to dozens of other pages that have charts of unemployment over decades that show the same info that is inconvenient for your argument. It just so happened The Atlantic has a higher Google ranking than a lot of other sites with similar charts.

Me a growth propaganda: Ha. You have a very low standard for what you use as evidence to reach conclusions when you want to slam other people rather than engage in rational debate. In fact, I write posts telling people why their living standards are going to fall.


First, here are BLS unemployment figures for 1928 to 1968. As you can see FDR brought down a horrendous 23.7% to 14.6% in 1940 for which the free market a-holes give him no credit whatsoever.

I have little doubt that Megan McArdle is a disingenuous opportunist and also an Objectivist from the U of C, where she got an MBA.

Rightwingers are fond of reminding people that whatever they may say you can never 'know' to a certainty if they personally believe what they are saying.

I don't read a lot of your posts because they seem to have few facts and have a general rightwing bias. If you can constructively or objectively(in a non-Ayn Rand sense) illuminate the dialog please do so.

majorian, You are giving FDR credit for a recovery that took 8 years to get to a still very high number. You are also ignoring the unemployment spike from 14.3% in 1937 to 19.2% in 1938.

We had previous bank panics and severe downturns pre-Federal Reserve and pre-FDR where the recoveries came much more rapidly because the government didn't muck things up. 1907 didn't last as long. We do not call the period after it a Great Depression. JP Morgan did a better job handling 1907 than FDR and the Federal Reserve 25 years later.

And you, F-P, should give Roosevelt credit for 1942 with unemployment at 4.7% as the US War Production Board wasn't even created until Jan. 23 1942.

The 1937 recession(it didn't last) was a deep bear market(worst decline in history) in 1937 which was caused by short selling by the super-rich(bear gangs).

"The Roosevelt Administration was under assault during FDR's second term, which presided over a new dip in the Great Depression in the fall of 1937 that continued through most of 1938. Production declined sharply, as did profits and employment. Unemployment jumped from 14.3% in 1937 to 19.0% in 1938. Keynesian economists speculated that this was a result of a premature effort to curb government spending and balance the budget, while conservatives said it was caused by attacks on business and by the huge strikes caused by the organizing activities of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and the American Federation of Labor (AFL).[43]

Roosevelt rejected the advice of Morgenthau to cut spending and decided big business were trying to ruin the New Deal by causing another depression that voters would react against by voting Republican.[44] It was a "capital strike" said Roosevelt, and he ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look for a criminal conspiracy (they found none).[44] Roosevelt moved left and unleashed a rhetorical campaign against monopoly power, which was cast as the cause of the new crisis.[44] Ickes attacked automaker Henry Ford, steelmaker Tom Girdler, and the superrich "Sixty Families" who supposedly comprised "the living center of the modern industrial oligarchy which dominates the United States."[44] Left unchecked, Ickes warned, they would create "big-business Fascist America—an enslaved America." The President appointed Robert Jackson as the aggressive new director of the antitrust division of the Justice Department, but this effort lost its effectiveness once World War II began and big business was urgently needed to produce war supplies.[44]"

You should remember at this time the super-rich were all agog over that really cool dude, Hitler.

"Ford and Adolf Hitler admired each other's achievements.[32] Adolf Hitler kept a life-size portrait of Ford next to his desk.[32] "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration," Hitler told a Detroit News reporter two years before becoming the Chancellor of Germany in 1933.[32] In July 1938, four months after the German annexation of Austria, Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest medal awarded by Nazi Germany to foreigners.[32]

Ford disliked the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and did not approve of U.S. involvement in the war. Therefore, from 1939 to 1943, the War Production Board's dealings with the Ford Motor Company were with others in the organization, such as Edsel Ford and Charles Sorensen, much more than with Henry Ford. During this time Henry Ford did not stop his executives from cooperating with Washington, but he himself did not get deeply involved. He watched, focusing on his own pet side projects, as the work progressed.[33] After Edsel Ford's passing, Henry Ford resumed control of the company in 1943."

Conservatives, SCOTUS worshipers and budget balancers minimized a true Keynesian simulus. When the SCOTUS stuck down parts of the New Deal, the rightwing tried to go in for the kill.
They failed but did delay recovery by a couple years.

Can't get over what total wing-nut you are F-P---J P Morgan in 1907???

That's the stockmarket(collapsed on news that Uncle TR was threatening the super-rich monopolists--SCARY), not the economy!


I've been plugging away as eco entrepreneur in home energy sector in central Scotland for a while now.

Very slow I have to say, and it's somewhat depressing to realise that much of what is needed in reducing energy dependency is behavioural - and most folks don't want to change.

High tech super "fixes" are currently where the more lucrative opportunities lie. Still, sooner or later....

Check your local community colleges. Lots of faculty and staff positions. Student demand is high as 4 year college tuition continues to go through the roof and laid off folks want to retrain.

Westinghouse Electric has hired a huge number of engineers (probably over 1000) over the past three or four years - lots of work upgrading the existing nuclear units and designing the new units to be built in China and the southeast US. Mostly mechanical & electrical engineers, and the few graduates from nuclear engineering programs.