The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Serena Ingre, 202/289-2378 or 703/296-0702 (cell)

New Report: Green Investment Will Yield Two Million New Jobs in Two Years

Report Outlines Rapid Recovery Economic Program That Moves America Toward a Clean Energy Future


As America confronts the current energy crisis, a new report
released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and
partner labor and environmental groups shows that the U.S. can create
two million jobs by investing in clean energy technologies that will
strengthen the economy and fight global warming. The report finds that
investing in clean energy would create four times as many jobs as
spending the same amount of money within the oil industry.

new report shows that investing in clean energy is a win-win solution.
Shifting to clean energy will put more people to work, provide
consumers relief at the pump, help reduce global warming pollution and
revitalize our economy at a time when many Americans are hurting," said
Frances Beinecke, President of NRDC.

"Green Recovery - A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy"
analyzes the potential for a two year $100 billion green investment
program - which would be comparable to the size of the April 2008
federal stimulus package dedicated to consumer rebates - to be an
engine for job creation in the U.S. This type of investment is a
component of a broader clean energy strategy to create a low-carbon
economy and reduce global warming pollutions.

program could be paid for with proceeds from auctions of carbon permits
under a global warming cap-and-trade program that will drive private
investments into clean energy and raise public revenue through carbon
permit auctions. A cap-and-trade program will enable America to reduce
global warming pollution to the levels science indicates are needed to
avoid the worst effects of global warming.

package is illustrative of the potential for clean energy - and
specifically green infrastructure investments - to create new jobs and
strengthen the economy. The specific package would invest 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.

report also shows that the vast majority of the two million jobs gained
from this initial $100 billion investment in clean energy would be in
the same areas of employment that people already work in today, in
every region and state of the country; 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.

addition to creating two million jobs nationwide over two years, a $100
billion initial investment in our clean energy future would:

  • Create
    nearly four times more jobs than spending the same amount of money
    within the oil industry and 300,000 more jobs than a similar amount of
    spending directed toward household consumption.
  • Create
    roughly triple the number of good jobs - paying at least $16 dollars an
    hour - as spending the same amount of money within the oil industry.
  • Bolster
    employment especially in construction and manufacturing. Construction
    employment has fallen from 8 million to 7.2 million over the past two
    years due to the housing bubble collapse. The Green Recovery program
    can, at the least, bring back these lost 800,000 construction jobs.

The report proposes that the $100 billion of initial investments fund:

  • $50 billion for tax credits.
    This 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.
    This would support public building retrofits, the expansion of mass
    transit, freight rail and smart electrical-grid systems, and new
    investments in renewable energy.
  • $4 billion for federal loan guarantees. This would underwrite private credit that is extended to finance building retrofits and investments in renewable energy.

report was written by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI)
at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, under commission by the
Center for American Progress (CAP) and released by NRDC and a coalition
of labor and environmental groups. The authors of the report are Robert
Pollin, Heidi Garrett-Peltier, James Heintz, and Helen Scharber of
PERI. For the complete report findings go to

For the 34 state fact sheets go to:

NRDC works to safeguard the earth--its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. We combine the power of more than three million members and online activists with the expertise of some 700 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.

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