Something to think about (also, the comment thread is interesting):
A couple things are fairly certain, though. For instance, in the future, as energy production changes from the current "dig shit out of the ground and burn it" focus, to a focus on harnessing and delivering energy that's already out there, the nature of energy jobs will change. It's hard to say whether that change will mean approximately as many energy jobs will be lost as will be created, but that's a sort of odd way to look at the choice between investing in change and continuing with business as usual.
California’s energy-efficiency policies created nearly 1.5 million jobs from 1977 to 2007, while eliminating fewer than 25,000, according to a study to be released Monday.
The study...found that while the state’s policies lowered employee compensation in the electric power industry by an estimated $1.6 billion over that period, it improved compensation in the state over all by $44.6 billion.
Built into that figure were increases of $1.2 billion in the light industrial sector, $11.2 billion in wholesale and retail trade, $7.3 billion in the financial and insurance sectors and $17.8 billion in the service sector.
“Consumers were able to reduce energy spending,” the study said, adding that “these savings were diverted to other demand.”
“When consumers shift one dollar of demand from electricity to groceries,” the report said, they create jobs among retailers, wholesalers, food processors and other businesses.