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08/18/2010 11:18 AM     print story email story  

State, Local Governments Lack Policies For Green Job Creation

SustainableBusiness.com News

As state and local governments seek to integrate environmental and energy policies with job creation, a first-of-its kind national study has found that only a few states and cities have policies in place to create green jobs.

A Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor and a team of eight graduate students from several U.S. universities conducted interviews and field research to develop a detailed case study of 30 state governments and 25 cities, including 15 best practices and policies for each.

“There are many studies of state and local government energy policy that focus on policies that drive ‘demand’ for energy efficiency and renewable energy products. This research report is different because it looks at the emerging suite of ‘supply’ policies needed to create the businesses that will provide green jobs,” said David J. Hess, professor of science and technology studies at Rensselaer.

The report, titled "Building Clean-Energy Industries and Green Jobs," explores the full range of green jobs, from weatherization jobs to manufacturing to research, development, and business start-ups. It also focuses on policies that help to promote five clean-energy industries: bio-fuels, smart-grid and buildings technologies, solar, transportation and energy storage, and wind.

According to the study, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Ohio are among the states that have a strong set of policies that support green-business creation. The findings also feature the cities that have sought to create a full range of green jobs, including jobs in manufacturing and technology.

Examples include: Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colo.; Cleveland, Ohio; Los Angeles, Calif., and the San Francisco Bay area cities; and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. Additionally, Newark, N.J., and several cities in California including--Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco--have been successful in creating green jobs that provide living wages.

“Many cities and states are claiming to become the ‘capital’ of green technology, but only a few really have strong, proactive policies in place to make that claim stick in order to create the highly paid green jobs,” Hess said. “During our research, we found that only some states and cities were able to bring together the research and innovation side with support for funding, technology transfer, business development, and green jobs training.”

Throughout the summer and into the fall, Hess and several of the students will be presenting their findings to state and city governments and at advocacy organizations. They have already delivered presentations in New York and Pennsylvania with additional presentations planned for New Jersey, Ohio, and Vermont.

In Related News...

A U.S. Department of Energy audit found that very little of the stimulus funding for energy efficiency block grants has been spent--about 8.4%.

Read New York Times coverage at the link below.

Website: green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/energy-funds-went-unspent-u-s-auditor-says/?partner=rss&emc=rss



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