Report: NC emissions reductions
could create 300K jobs
Oct 24, 2007 - The Associated Press
Going green could bring some new jobs
to North Carolina.
That was the conclusion of a report
presented Tuesday to a legislative panel, which heard
that the state could net 300,000 more jobs by 2020
by implementing energy efficiency programs and producing
more renewable energy.
The preliminary report is an attempt
to quantify the economic result of more than 30 policy
options suggested by an advisory committee established
to help lawmakers develop a global warming response
plan. All the recommendations of the Climate Action
Plan Advisory Group, if approved, would return the
state to 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions within
The report, based on an economic model
the basis of which has been used by several other
states, found that following the recommendations would
create in North Carolina about 328,000 cumulative
annual net jobs by 2020 and generate $14.2 billion
in cumulative income.
But that's just a small percentage of
the 5 million jobs now in North Carolina that generate
$250 billion in income, said David Ponder, an Appalachian
State University graduate research assistant and report
"We see mildly positive impact, but
in terms of the scale of the economy, these are not
earth-shattering figures," Ponder told the Legislative
Commission on Global Climate Change. The commission
is meeting to recommend to the General Assembly whether
to create more policies to lower emissions.
The General Assembly this year ordered
electric utilities to generate 12.5 percent of their
power from alternative energy sources or through energy
savings by 2021.
Many of the new jobs would come from
within the agribusiness and waste industries, through
such recommendations as producing more ethanol and
biodiesel for fuel and trapping gas from animal manure
and landfills to generate electricity, the report
State Sen. Robert Pittenger, R-Mecklenburg,
a critic of global warming policies that he says would
stifle the nation's economy, questioned the value
of the report, given that it was based on the advisory
Pittenger and the conservative-leaning
John Locke Foundation held a news conference before
Tuesday's meeting to argue the outside consultant
that helped form the advisory group's suggestions
used "seriously flawed" methods.
Tom Peterson, executive director of
Center for Climate Strategies, the outside consultant,
defended its work while presenting the recommendations
to the legislative commission. He pointed out that
the center's staff has much experience in economics.