Clean Energy Jobs Plan Would Create Thousands Of Jobs In MN

By KBJR News 1

Clean Energy Jobs Plan Would Create Thousands Of Jobs In MN

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

A Minnesota coalition including labor, faith and environmental interests is coming together to back what's called a "clean energy jobs plan" that supporters say will create thousands of jobs, reduce pollution and lower oil imports.

The groups are supporting a bill under consideration in Congress that backers believe will grow the "clean energy economy."

The coalition's Joshua Low says it's a "win-win" situation for Minnesota.

"We know that, by investing in clean energy jobs, we can revitalize manufacturing, get the middle class moving again, get our economy moving again. At the same time, we can solve global warming, one of the most pressing environmental problems that we have in this country."

The groups calculate clean energy jobs have already put thousands of people to work.

A comprehensive and targeted energy and climate plan would add many more, they say.

Low notes a Zogby poll that finds the idea has 71% public approval.

Meantime, analysis from the University of Massachusetts indicates the plan would create almost two million new jobs, over 30,000 of them in Minnesota.

Low also cites a Pew Charitable Trust study that says job growth in Minnesota's emerging clean energy economy has been increasing more than six times faster than the economy as a whole; a pace that would likely accelerate.

"Growth is coming from projects like doing energy efficiency retrofits on a person's house or a person's office. Or, putting solar panels and hooking those up, so that we are producing good, clean energy for Minnesotans."

Supporters say the proposal would also provide opportunities for low-income families to land new jobs and higher wages.

An energy package has already passed the House.

The plan will be considered by the Senate when Congress returns next month.

More information is available at www.zogby.com.