Sunday, September 07, 2008

Green Jobs: Good Stuff!

From a joint project of the Sierra Club and Working America:
We must reinvest in the American workforce and rebuild our economy.
Since 2000, 3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost and corporations have shipped more than 525,000 white-collar jobs overseas. At the same time, energy costs are skyrocketing. A bold plan is needed to revitalize the American economy and lessen our energy needs.

A Greener Economy Will Create American Jobs

One solution is supporting green jobs, which will create thousands of new, good-paying jobs and help curb energy costs. We must demand that politicians get behind green jobs, instead of looking out for Big Oil.
A "green job" is more than just a job with an environmental consciousness. Green jobs provide a livable wage and a career ladder to move workers into higher-skilled occupations. Green jobs mean a sustainable economy, where environmental goals go hand in hand with social and economic goals.

Getting to Green

There are a number of strategies for promoting clean energy and green jobs:
  • Modernizing the electrical grid;
  • Retrofitting buildings;Mass transit;
  • Energy-efficient automobiles;Wind power;
  • Solar power; and
  • Cellulosic biofuels.
These would create a number of good-paying jobs—jobs manufacturing parts for wind turbines or biomass refineries, retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient, installing solar panels on buildings and manufacturing American-made clean energy vehicles.

Bringing green jobs into communities has multiple benefits:

  • Creation of new, good-paying jobs: 820,000 could be created nationwide;
  • Increased demand for occupations in which workers already are trained—such as construction, welding and electrical—which could drive up wages for all workers in those fields. In every state, there are hundreds of thousands of jobs which could see job growth or wage increase in a green jobs economy;
  • Enormous potential for energy savings and good jobs by modernizing and extending the 160,000 miles of high transmission lines that make up the electrical grid. This will increase energy efficiency by an estimated 20 percent and provide new, smart access for renewable energy projects;
  • Rebuilding America's manufacturing and industrial base by creating and keeping jobs here;
  • Creation of new domestic energy sources, which will curb skyrocketing energy costs and help take control back from special interests like Big Oil.

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