A new report indicates that a $100 billion investment over 2 years in clean energy could create 2 million new jobs in the United States. The study was compiled by the Center for American Progress and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for a group of labor and environmental groups including the United Steelworkers of America, the Clean Air Council, Sierra Club, PennFuture and PennEnvironment.
Bracken Hendricks of the Center for American Progress says the projected 2 million jobs are four times the amount created by a similar investment in the oil industry and 20% more than by a taxpayer rebate. Hendricks says they believe that Pennsylvania's economy would get a $4 billion infusion from such an investment and 86 thousand new jobs.
Joe Minott of the Clean Air Council says they propose the investment be in six green infrastructure priorities: retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency; expanding mass transit and freight rail; constructing "smart" electrical grid transmission systems; wind power; solar power; and, next generation biofuels.
Hendricks says there is a misconception that green jobs involve dislocation and retraining. He says the vast majority of the new jobs created would be the types already being done by millions of Americans: electricians, carpenters, machinists, mechanics, metal fabricators and software engineers.
Hendricks says old legacy industries like steel can benefit from investments in clean energy because it takes 26 tons of steel to build one windmill.
The environmental/labor coalition suggests the $100 billion could come from direct appropriations, tax credits. loan guarantees and mostly from auctioning carbon permits under a global warming cap and trade system.