2M U.S. Jobs Seen in Clean Energy
Sep 11, 2008 - Monica Chen - The
Herald-Sun - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
DURHAM -- A green jobs plan paid for with auctions
of carbon permits could net North Carolina $2.9 billion
over the next two years and 62,015 new jobs, according
to a just-released report.
The Center for American Progress and the University
of Massachusetts' Political Economy Research Institute
propose that a total of $100 billion for the entire
country could be raised with proceeds from auctions
of carbon permits under a global warming cap-and-trade
To be more specific, the program would drive private
investments into clean energy and raise public revenue
through carbon permit auctions, according to the report,
called "Green Recovery -- A Program to Create Good
Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy."
A cap-and-trade program works by the federal government
setting a cap on the maximum amount of pollution the
U.S. could create annually. The biggest polluters
would have to buy a credit -- essentially paying for
the right to pollute.
The report finds that clean energy investments would
create four times as many jobs as spending the same
amount of money in the oil industry, according to
a news release.
"It goes a long way toward making our environment
safer and cleaning up our water and air... and creating
new jobs," said Dan Crawford, director of governmental
affairs at the Conservation Council of North Carolina,
one of several in-state environmental groups in support
of the report.
"Any time you can make a double hit like this, I
think it's a safe investment for North Carolina,"
The report proposes that the $100 billion of initial
investments would fund the following: $50 billion
for tax credits for private businesses and homeowners
for building retrofits and new investments; $46 billion
in direct government spending to support public building
retrofits and expand mass transit; and $4 billion
for federal loan guarantees.
Colin Hagan, the federal policy associate with Southern
Alliance for Clean Energy, said he was most pleased
with the scale and pace of the proposal.
"We could stand to see more investment, but $100
billion is a great start in terms of investments and
solutions nationally," he said.
"The other thing is also the rate, or the pace at
which this report is calling for the investment,"
Hagan said. "It's a good timeframe... If they were
calling for $100 billion over 30 years or 50 years,
it would have less of an effect than over a two-year
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a nonprofit group,
is another North Carolina organization that's in support
of the proposal.
Hagan said the feasibility of the plan and the likelihood
it could be implemented is increasing.
"With the energy crisis and with some more short-term
concerns, it looks like we'll be waiting until 2009
or the beginning of the next congressional sessions
to introduce climate change," he said.
"This isn't the end. This is just the tip of the
iceberg and is indicative of the benefits in clean
energy solutions and finding solutions to climate
change," Hagan said.