NY Clean Energy Jobs: “Not Just Tilting at Windmills”
Monday, November 12, 2007
Buffalo, NY — Some may see it as an odd couple, but labor unions are fighting alongside environmentalists for congressional action they say could bring tens of thousands of new jobs to New York. A study by the Renewable Energy Project finds enactment of the Renewable Energy Standard would create more than 49,000 new jobs in New York.
Bill Pienta with the United Steelworkers in Buffalo sees the job growth potential as far more than a temporary boost or part-time work.
"This is a win-win situation because it's going to put people back to work. New York's workforce will see a growth in new, sustainable jobs which will promote the economy and get taxpayers back on the rolls. We're not just talking about the installation or purchasing of clean energy. New York could see the ongoing manufacturing of products associated with renewable and alternative energy."
Pienta believes whole new careers, in New York and the rest of the nation, could be created based on clean energy manufacturing and technology. He cites Europe as an example, where the wind generation business is second only to automotive manufacturing, and he is optimistic the U.S. could see similar benefits.
Bob Muldoon with the Sierra Club explains states like New York have shown the way, and now it's time for Congress to take action to make a clean energy future a national priority.
"New York already has a higher standard at 25 percent. Now is the time for New York's Congress members to support a national renewable electricity standard."
The Renewable Energy Standard would require that 15 percent of the nation's energy come from renewable sources like wind and solar. Some utility companies oppose the measure, saying it would be too expensive.
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