Wednesday, May 8, 2013

David Loomis and those Crazy JEDI Economic Models

Loomis and those Crazy JEDI Economic Models

David Loomis’ use of JEDI Economic Modeling is interesting and quite a creative use of voodoo economicsJEDI Economic Modeling was developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a federal agency to explain the alleged economic impact and job creation of projects, such as a wind farm.  Economist David Loomis claims the Rock Island Clean Line project will create 5,000 construction jobs and 500 full time jobs.  Sound to me like this claim of 500 “Full Time Equivalent” jobs is a lot of “train the model” to create the desired outcome.   

It’s interesting to note the U.S. State Department acknowledges the Keystone Pipeline will only create 35 full time jobs.   How does David Loomis conclude a powerline will create 1,429% more jobs than the Keystone Pipeline?  Creative model training and number manipulation perhaps.  Compared to the State Department’s number for Keystone these numbers provided by David Loomis, Ph.D. are ludicrous.  Can a single Clean Line Energy powerline really provide more jobs than the Keystone?  Really?

Ph.D. David Loomis is misapplying JEDI Modeling.  He is taking an economic model which can be manipulated like clay, that was specifically made for wind farms and using it for a powerline.  David Loomis is arguing that the Rock Island “Clean” Line powerline could carry 4,000 nameplate MW’s of wind turbines, therefore he is assuming Illinois will receive the economic benefit of creating a single wind farm of 4,000 MW’s in Iowa.  There is no JEDI model for a powerline just as there is no JEDI model for a pipline.

This is a gross abuse of JEDI economic modeling for David Loomis to assume a powerline’s economic benefit is the same as over 200 square miles of wind farms.  This is absurd and makes a person wonder why the U.S. State Department didn’t use similar economic modeling for the Keystone Pipeline.  Perhaps it is because the U.S. State Department under Hillary Clinton and John Kerry’s leadership isn’t so naïve to make such a boastful claim.

It’s is also interesting to note that David Loomis with his misinterpretation of JEDI Modeling also neglects to consider the negative economic contributions of the RICL project.  Loomis only considers the positive of gross contributions and not the net contributions after the economic losses are considered. 

Once again, like the Center for Renewable Energy, the line between David Loomis the private consultant and David Loomis the PhD Economist for Illinois State University gets real blurry.  While  this study submitted as evidence before Illinois utility regulators is from the Loomis consulting company, he is clearly riding the coattails of his university credentials. 

Any JEDI project will have a positive economic outcome if one fails to consider the economic dark side of the project.

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