Clean Energy, Transportation Poised to Create 110,000 Jobs

The clean energy and transportation industry is poised to create 110,000 jobs based on 300 projects announced in 2012. 

Although jobs are being created across the country, these are the top states: California, North Carolina and Florida lead, followed by Illinois, Connecticut, Arizona, New York, Michigan, Texas and Oregon.

Clean transportation, such as a light-rail project scheduled for Charlotte, NC, led job growth last year, followed by clean power generation, manufacturing and energy efficiency projects.

The Southeast led the country in manufacturing-related clean energy job announcements, with more than 13,700 jobs announced – 80% of the nation’s total. Solar, advanced vehicles and wind energy are the leading clean energy manufacturing industries in the Southeast.

"It’s now crystal-clear that clean energy and clean transportation are helping our economy recover," says Judith Albert, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), which produced the report.

E2 is a nationwide network of business leaders who advocate for policies that benefit the economy and the environment. It is an arm of the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council.

But Albert cautions, "The projects and job announcements like we saw in 2012 can continue – as long as we don’t let smart energy policies get hijacked by special interests."

She’s referring to on-going campaigns by ALEC, The Heritage Foundation, Grover Norquist and others to derail state Renewable Portfolio Standards, widely lauded as being central to the growth of clean energy.

Kansas is the latest state to reject their attempts to dispose of their RPS, because wind is now a major industry in the state,  growing 50% since its RPS passed in 2009 (American Wind Energy Association).

The state currently gets 10% of its power from wind, with $3 billion invested during 2012.

The Kansas Senate just voted down a bill that would have postponed the deadline for the RPS, which requires 15% renewables by 2016 and 20% by 2020. It would have moved the first deadline to 2018 and the second to 2024; a bill in the House would eliminate the 20% target altogether.

The Legislature should abandon the "costly renewable energy mandate so as to mitigate its negative impact on the economy," says Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. 

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