Stanford Prof. Deletes Data From Study Showing Green Energy Will Kill Jobs

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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A Stanford professor is deflecting criticism after allegedly deleting data from research associated with a year-old study in order to avoid inadvertently showing how green energy will kill millions of long-term jobs.

Prof. Mark Jacobson rebuked criticisms brought by Steve Everley of Energy In Depth, an oil industry-backed education project, that supplementary data actually showed using 100 percent green energy would result in 1.2 million jobs being eliminated from the economy.

Jacobson said Everley’s claim was a “flat out lie” and relied on “faked data.”

Everley’s claim was based on data taken from Jacobson’s own research, but when Everley went back to show the Stanford professor that the proof was in his own online files, he found the data was gone — Jacobson had deleted it just hours after Everley exposed the job loss numbers.

“On his website, Dr. Jacobson houses a number of supporting documents for his research on a 100 percent renewables transition, including a Microsoft Excel file that shows everything from assumptions about levelized costs of electricity to jobs estimates and energy demand projections,” Everley wrote Wednesday of Jacobson’s data showing green energy would kill jobs.

“But now the spreadsheet on Dr. Jacobson’s website no longer shows a loss of ‘Net Long Term Jobs,’” Everley wrote. “In fact, the highlighted column has been deleted from the document entirely.”

Jacobson data

Source: Energy In Depth screenshot of Jacobson’s data

Jacobson deleted the data from his study’s supplementary material about 11 hours after Everley published his criticism Jan 5. Jacobson then took to Twitter to lambast Everley for allegedly faking the data.

“Whereas I have experienced cases where people didn’t like our results because they affected their energy of choice, this is the first time I’ve come across someone (Everley) actually falsifying data from our study then refusing to correct it when informed of the error,” Jacobson told Media Matters.

Jacobson insists to The Daily Caller News Foundation that no “real” data was deleted from his study’s online supplementary material. He claims the data Everley used was “test” data.

Jacobson also said the reason he deleted the data after Everley’s article was because the spreadsheet it was on was “humongous” and filled with “dead” test numbers.

Jacobson’s study claims that phasing out fossil use in the U.S. and powering the country with 100 percent would create more than 2 million jobs on net after accounting for jobs lost in coal mining, oil extraction and other industries.

Most of the jobs created by green energy, however, are in construction and not long-term operations jobs. It was based on this data that Jacobson concluded 1.2 million long-term jobs would be lost — the  same data that Everley cited.

“Jacobson’s data show a net job gain because ‘Construction’ jobs created from a transition to 100 percent renewables would exceed the number of ‘Long Term Jobs’ lost,” Everley wrote. “Many environmental activists who have promoted Jacobson’s plan have spent years denigrating construction work as being inferior to what they called ‘real jobs.’”

Author’s clarification: Everley’s claims are based on data taken from supplementary documents posted online associated with a study Jacobson published in 2015. The data Everley found was not from the study itself, but from the materials posted online that supplement the study claiming the U.S. can run off 100 percent green energy. Those materials contain “the derivation of all numbers” from Jacobson’s 2015 study. So, Everley is not arguing Jacobson deleted numbers from his actual study, but from supplementary materials posted online that are associated with his research. The article has been corrected to provide further clarification.

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