Monday, August 23, 2010

Can Ted sell Solar?

Ted Strickland needs to sell success stories.

With a desperately bad record to reflect upon, those opportunities are few and far between.

But a look back at the Governor's State of the State speech and a recent statement from President Obama provide us a clue of where the Governor's campaign will look as they start recording footage for campaign commercials.

Cue Toledo, Ohio.

With its new solar power plant, it's a perfect example of what the Governor would like to expand upon throughout Ohio.

But is Toledo really the model the Governor will likely portray it to be?
Moving past the semantics debate, it's worth delving into the issue of Toledo's place as a "leader" in the solar industry.

In March, The Blade published a three-day series of reports that showed Ohio had, despite its early success in the solar industry at UT and First Solar, lost out on thousands of solar manufacturing jobs in the last few years to states offering more lucrative incentives and stronger product markets for solar companies.

Because of state government subsidies and more solar consumers, states such as California, Oregon, Arizona, and even Ohio neighbors such as Michigan and Pennsylvania have attracted dozens of solar manufacturing operations over the last few years. The soft estimate of 6,000 solar jobs in Toledo now is the same estimate from 2007 when the region was dubbed a solar "hot spot" nationally.

First Solar may now employ 1,000 people at its Perrysburg Township plant with an average starting wage of $12 per hour for its factory workers, but its headquarters are in Arizona and most of the $2 billion-a-year company's production takes place in Germany and Malaysia.


Willard & Kelsey, an aspiring panel maker in Perrysburg, has on several occasions failed to achieve its predicted employment numbers and has been sued for failure to fill a contracted order. But the company now says the issuance of a $10 million loan from the state should help it grow from 70 to 200 employees and ramp up production by year's end.
As we've talked about for months here on 3BP, Strickland is relying on "green jobs" to make his case for re-election. But in the midst of this jobs crisis, can Ohio afford to make its focus an incentive reliant industry that has shown very little evidence of durability and economic growth?

Should taxpayer dollars be spent by the millions on subsidy-funded jobs by the dozen, when we're hundreds of thousands of jobs in the hole?

This video from back in March shows what Strickland is up against. Is he willing to spend the dollars necessary to sell an industry that has been shown to the voters over and over again as not the success many thought it could be?


  1. John Kasich has touted "green energy" as a substantial component of Ohio's recovery.

    Do you not even check what Kasich says before you attack Strickland? Apparently, not.

  2. Which has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

    There is a massive difference between it being a component and the driving focus.

    Kasich wants Ohio to be in the market for all types of jobs. Not just green. If there is a demand for it, provide it. It's that simple.

    Instead, as evidenced by his repeated rhetoric, Strickland seems to rely on green jobs as the key to Ohio's economic future. As mentioned in the post, that's clearly not worked so far, and there's no evidence to suggest it will in the future.

  3. Um, and Kasich described it as a driving focus.... Wow.

  4. Come on Modern, you can use facts to prove anything. When the points go against what the astroturfing blogger has to say, he seems to ignore them

  5. Except not.

    Kasich has long said green jobs should only be one component in a portfolio of diverse industries within the state.

    That's a far cry from Strickland's desperate attempt to make Ohio reliant upon green jobs for recovery.

    As evidenced in the article from the Toledo Blade, that's going to be an extremely hard sell.

  6. Um, and Kasich described it as a driving focus.... Wow.


  7. Show me John Kasich ever talking about a portfolio of anything for Ohio. Seriously. Show me his plan for Ohio's economy. We're all ears.

    If "green energy" manufacturing was such a horrible, misguided and resource consuming sector that doesn't justify State investment than WHY WOULD IT BE IN KASICH'S "PORTFOLIO" at all?

    As for cite, see Kasich's interview on CNBC Larry Kudlow in February '10 at 6:18 mark. Kasich LEADS with green energy manufacturing as Ohio's long-term economic solution.

    Keeling's ridiculous notion that Strickland has focused on green energy exclusively is as absurd and false as his refusal to acknowledge that John Kasich has equally cited that sector as a major part of Ohio's future, too, if he's Governor.

  8. Are you trying to say this comment on Kudlow = Kasich saying we should make green jobs the focus?

    “Now, Larry, at the same time we talk about how do you transition in manufacturing, go up the value chain, you know, make parts for alternative energy, go into avionics and make parts for advanced aircraft, you know there’s still a chance to make cars but you just can’t rely on auto parts you know you think about technology…our workers out here are good people they’re smart people, great university system, we can get people from the silicon valley to come here but we have to improve the atmosphere in our state so that people will say ‘if we’re there we’ll get a bottom line.’”

    I hope not, because all that quote does is endorse exactly what I've been saying his position is.

    As for any evidence Strickland is making green energy jobs his focus, see here:

  9. You still seem to dance past the fallacy of your own argument.

    You write in your post that pursuing green energy is a waste of limited state resources period. Why then would Kasich have it in his "portfolio" at all (let alone lead with it in interviews) if that were the case.

    Wow, you cite one bullet point in a State of State address... Unfortunately for you, there's more to it than just green energy.

    So Ted Strickland talks more substantively about the issue in a State of State address than Kasich did in a short interview on CNBC? Okay, what's your point?

    Really? The reality is that Kasich talks about green energy being the future of Ohio, particularly green energy manufacturing, just like Strickland.

    You can dance around it all you want, but that's the reality.

    Ted Strickland has, for the first time in Ohio's history, gotten various regions of Ohio to adopt a strategy of leveraging that region's strength in particular industries beyond just green energy. Consumer products in Cincinnati. Aerospace in Dayton. Biomedicine in Cleveland. He's worked to develop logistics and the transportation industry. Farmland preservation.

    You can take all the screengrabs you want, but you're still attack Strickland over something Kasich also supports. You can debate who focuses more on it all you want, but that doesn't really change anything.

  10. Your total and complete lack of reading comprehension makes conversing with your difficult.

    To start, please quote where I said in this post that "pursuing it would be a waste period", or anything even remotely similar.

    I'll save you some time. I didn't. I simply said it shouldn't be the primary focus. And it shouldn't, and can't be, the driver behind Ohio's recovery.

    Think it's not the primary driver for Strickland? I give you:

    And once again, and I won't repeat this because it's a waste of my time if you can't comprehend it, Kasich doesn't say green energy is the future of Ohio, as you phrase it. He says if there is a market for it, we should make do our best to make it, just like any other industry.

    And if Strickland was successful with any part of Ohio's economy, we wouldn't be where we are right now.


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