The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Meghan Thornton, 202-331-6943

New Feature Profiles People Behind the Nation's Clean Energy Future


Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) today debuted a new Web feature,
"Faces of Renewable Energy," which profiles Americans across the
country who are part of the nation's burgeoning renewable energy
industry. While economists, pundits and even President-elect Barack
Obama have been touting green jobs as a way to pull the country out of
its current economic crisis, UCS's Web feature shows that many
Americans already are working in a wide range of high-wage green-collar
jobs and that the sector holds great promise for generating jobs and
cutting the pollution that causes global warming. (For "Faces of
Renewable Energy," go to:

wanted to put a human face on the exciting world of renewable energy by
giving the people doing path-breaking work the opportunity to tell
their own stories," said Jeff Deyette, a clean energy analyst at UCS.
"This feature shows that renewable energy jobs are here and now, and
that this growing sector is one of the few bright spots in our economy."

feature offers an interactive map with brief profiles of 20 Americans
working in the renewable energy industry. Each profile is accompanied
by a photo and audio quote. UCS will periodically add more profiles to
the feature.

the "faces" in this first installment are Olaf Roed, president of a
Florida-based company producing wood pellets for coal-powered plants,
which burn them to generate electricity and cut coal pollution; Sherry
Phillips, the mayor of McCamey, Texas, who has played a key role in
making her city the state's "wind energy capital;" and Leon Bontrager,
who started selling solar panels in Indiana 10 years ago.

has been promoting a national renewable electricity standard requiring
utilities around the country to generate at least 20 percent of their
electricity by 2020. Such a standard would create 185,000 new
green-collar jobs, slash residential and commercial electric bills, and
dramatically reduce global warming pollution, according to a 2007 UCS
analysis. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have enacted similar standards, but a federal standard would help ensure these benefits are fully realized nationwide.

(For the UCS analysis, which explains how individual states would benefit from a national standard, go to:

for federal investment in green jobs isn't just political rhetoric,"
said Deyette. "Increasing our reliance on clean, homegrown sources of
energy will create hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs, boost
our failing economy, strengthen national security, and cut global
warming pollution at the same time."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.