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A report released by the Sierra Club, Environment New Jersey, the New Jersey Work Environment Council and other labor and environmental groups shows that the U.S. can create two million jobs nationwide - more than 57,000 of them in New Jersey - by investing in clean energy technologies.

"Green Recovery - A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy," written by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst under commission by the Center for American Progress, also shows that investing in clean energy would create four times as many jobs as spending the same amount of money on the oil industry.

The report analyzes the potential for a two-year, $100 billion green investment program to be an engine for job creation nationwide. The specific package studied would include investment 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.

The report shows that the vast majority of the two million jobs gained from this initial investment in clean energy would be in the same areas of employment in which people already work today. For example, constructing wind farms creates jobs for sheet metal workers, machinists and truck drivers, among many others. Increasing the energy efficiency of buildings through retrofitting requires roofers, insulators and building inspectors. Expanding mass transit systems employs civil engineers, electricians and dispatchers.

The $100 billion of initial investments would fund the following:

- $50 billion for tax credits that would assist private businesses and homeowners to finance both commercial and residential building retrofits, as well as investments in renewable energy systems,

- $46 billion in direct government spending that would support public building retrofits, the expansion of mass transit, freight rail and smart electrical grid systems and new investments in renewable energy, and

- $4 billion for federal loan guarantees that would underwrite private credit that is extended to finance building retrofits and investments in renewable energy.

For more information, visit peri.umass.edu.

SOURCE: New Jersey Sierra Club


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