Saturday, August 29, 2009

Will Cap And Trade Push Lead To Lasting Alliance Between Workers and Environmentalists?

The Blue-Green Aliance shows hope that working toward a new alternative energy economy will create a lasting alignment between environmental stewardship and economic prosperity.

Ben Gemen of Climate Wire and the New York Times reports:

"Both of these movements have realized they really need each other to get what they want," said J. Timmons Roberts, a Brown University sociologist who has written on labor-environmental coalitions. The Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers, after years of work together, formally launched the alliance in 2006. The effort expanded in 2008 and 2009, adding the Natural Resources Defense Council and several unions -- the Service Employees International Union, Communications Workers of America, Utility Workers Union of America, Laborers' International Union of North America, and the American Federation of Teachers.

The alliance has focused largely on supporting legislation that would impose national curbs on greenhouse gas emissions and boost deployment of low-carbon energy sources that both groups say will create scores of new "green jobs." But the alliance is also pushing for workplace-organizing legislation -- labor's top priority -- as well as changes in trade policy and curbs on industrial toxics." See full article.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Alternative Energy Companies Look To Buy Closed Michigan Ford Plant

A closed Ford plant near Detroit may get some new life.
David Eggert at Associated Press reports:

"Two alternative energy companies planning to buy a closed Ford Motor Co. factory near Detroit want to convert it into the country's largest renewable energy park, with at least 2,800 workers building storage batteries, solar panels and possibly wind turbines.
The proposed $725 million project outlined to state lawmakers Wednesday would be a coup for a state in desperate need of jobs. Michigan, with the highest unemployment rate in the nation, hopes to become a major player in the green economy." See full article.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Survey: Corporate Sustainability Jobs Increasing

GreenBiz has been busy doing a green jobs survey:
Melissa Hincha-Ownby at Mother Nature Network reports:

"More than 600 GreenBiz Intelligence Panel members participated in the most recent survey, which started in late July and closed earlier this month. The survey results show an “increasing headcount for environmental and sustainability positions along with greater spending by environmental, health and safety (EHS) departments at large corporations. These are promising findings that the emerging green economy may be outpacing indicators of a broader recovery.” Source: GreenBiz

This job growth is in stark contrast to the rising unemployment rates in the nation during the same time period. According to the Department of Labor, in July 2009, the national unemployment rate was 9.4%. As of August 15, there were 576,000 unemployment initial (UI) claims and the 4-week average for UI claims was 570,000." See full article:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Imperial Valley Gets New Green Job Training Center

Local residents in Imperial City, CA will have a better opportunity to learn green jobs skills. (Photo: Center for American Progress) reports:

"the New Electrical Training Center in the City of Imperial held it’s grand opening. The Center, which has been running since March, is the home base of a five year apprenticeship program that trains local residents in green jobs. Organizers say the program helps the working class in the Imperial Valley. The apprenticeship program provides workers with health care, a pension retirement contribution and lifelong journeymen skills." See full article.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Study: Biofuels Market Will Triple to $240 Billion In Ten Years

A new study by Pike research sees major growth in biofuels.

Clean reports:

"In a positive outlook for the biodiesel industry, Pike Research, a new cleantech analysis firm headquartered in Boulder, Colo., has predicted robust growth over the long-term for the global renewables market. “The study started out as an assessment of technologies in the biofuels industries, but then it grew into a more of a market analysis,” said Robert McDonald, author of the report." See full article.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Washington DC "Boomtown" Could Have 190,000 Green Jobs In Its Future

Washington DC certainly has its own economic fabric. Green jobs will be a significant part of its next decade.

International business news source e yugoslavia reports:

“The federal government is our foundation, but it’s a mutually reinforcing set of factors,” said Matt Erskine, director of the Greater Washington Initiative. “Smart people are attracted to other smart people.” More than half of the area’s people over age 25 have a college degree, and more than 50 universities and specialized educational establishments are based in and around Washington. Erskine sees new environmental technologies as an area for future growth. A recent study by the US Conference of Mayors estimated that more than 190,000 “green” jobs could be created in the region in the next 30 years. See full article.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Michigan Autoworkers Go Solar

Laid off autoworkers are retraining for green jobs in Michigan.

Cooler news reports:

"thanks to Michigan’s No Worker Left Behind program, launched in 2007, 80,000 workers have so far been retrained, many of them under the Green Jobs Initiative. In fact, according to a May 2009 Green Jobs report, the state now supports 109,067 green jobs, 96,767 having a direct impact on the new green energy economy and the balance representing support jobs. This puts Michigan’s green job category at 3 percent of overall employment. A newer initiative, proposed by President Barack Obama, hopes to extend the program, and the funding, to by $12 billion to aid those unemployed who are still left behind.Many of these green jobs are in solar energy, and at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, laid-off auto workers are retraining to install and maintain photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.... GM’s failure, falling solar panel prices, the potential for Peak Oil in a decade, and a president’s commitment to renewable energy and renewable energy jobs – appears to have reached a conflux whose effect can’t yet be statistically calculated, but may the perfect driver for America’s green energy future." See full article.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Virgina Will Prosper With Clean Energy And Cap And Trade

Virginia stands to prosper in the clean and renewable energy game.

See Christen Duxbury's letter the the editor to

[Cap and trade legislation] "would build on Virginia's substantial clean-jobs market--which consists of more than 16,000 clean jobs, 1,400 clean businesses, and has a growth rate of 6 percent (information from a 2009 study by the Pew Center for the States). Job opportunities would skyrocket if clean-energy legislation were to create a focused effort to build up sustainable business sectors such as pollution mitigation, conservation, energy efficiency, retrofitting homes, and wind, biomass, and solar power.
Virginia's potential sustainable business growth has already grabbed the attention of key business leaders. According to a 2009 Pew Charitable Trusts study, Virginia received nearly $71 million in clean-technology venture capital between 2006 and 2008." See full letter.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

McKinsey Report: U.S. Energy-Saving Would Create 600,000 to 900,000 Green Jobs

The global consulting firm of Mckinsey and Company , finds that elevating energy efficiency to a national priority could spur the creation of 600,000-900,000 long-term green jobs and reduce our overall U.S. energy consumption by 23 percent. This could avoid up to 1.1 gigatons of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

The New York Times Reports:

"A new report on energy efficiency from the consulting firm McKinsey found that the United States could save $1.2 trillion through 2020, by investing $520 billion in improvements like sealing leaky building ducts and replacing inefficient household appliances with new, energy-saving models." See full article.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Downturn Doesn't Halt Central Oregon Green-Job Growth

There are places across the nation where green jobs are offering terrific hope.
Kate Ramsayer at the Ashland Dailing Tidings reports:

"There's only so many windy patches of Earth — and even fewer patches close to transmission lines. So for the next five to 10 years, the wind power industry is going to be running full steam ahead, said Mike Costanti, principal with Western Community Energy. He anticipates quadrupling the size of his Bend-based company's development staff over the next couple of years, with jobs for turbine operators, lawyers, permit writers, electrical engineers, structural engineers, construction workers and more.

'We have a lot of room for growth,' Costanti said. A study recently released by the Oregon Employment Department found that Oregon had more than 51,000 "green jobs" in 2008."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Colorado Solar Plant Generates Jobs And Energy

A new solar plant in Colorado is generating power and 200 new jobs.
Amy Lou Jenkins at reports:
"Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar visted the High-Tech Solar Panel Plant in Longmont, CO to call attention to a reinvigorated U.S. high-tech manufacturing sector. Salazar met with employees of an innovative solar panel company that has created more than 200 ‘green jobs’ in two years and expects to double employment by next year. 'Abound Solar and hundreds of renewable energy companies sprouting up across the nation are keys to solving our energy and climate change challenges.'” See full article.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Is US Falling Behind In Green Energy Race?

Two U.S. businesss leaders think we are and that we must do something about it: (Image: Green DC)

Green Stocks reports:

"[August 3rd] in the Washington Post, General Electric (GE) CEO Jeff Immelt and famed venture capitalist John Doerr wrote an op ed piece highlighting the failure of the US to take the lead in green energy and the emergence of China as the leader.
Some interesting facts:

- China cars are 35% more fuel efficient

- they spend 10x what the US does as a % of GDP on green energy

- China on track to create 150,000 jobs through the deployment of 120GW of wind power within 10 years

- US is home to only one of the top 5 wind turbine manufacturers (GE)

- US is home to just one of the top 10 solar panel producers (hmm.. I thought it was two – FSLR, SPWRA)

- US is home to just two of the top advanced battery makers.

Middle Tennessee Looks To New LED Plant For Green Jobs

Rutherford County in Middle Tennessee stands to see hundreds of new jobs due to a new business partnership.

Scott Broden from the Tennesseean reports:

"Davis Groupe in Murfreesboro, Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company in Clarksville and NCS Power Inc., based in Vancouver, Wash., plan to team to make energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lights in Middle Tennessee in the next six to 18 months.

Phase I of the arrangement will involve adding about 100 to 200 jobs in the next six to 18 months, with about half of the positions coming to Rutherford County, said Davis Groupe owner Jimmy Davis, who’s confident that automotive suppliers such as the Davis Groupe will create thousands of jobs making alternative energy products." See full article.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Laid-Off Michigan Workers Re-Train For Green Jobs

America's community colleges are moving toward re-training America's workforce. One school in Dearborn Michigan is an example.

The Straits Times reports:

"In a crowded classroom at Henry Ford Community College, laid off auto workers are learning how to install and manage solar panels. The class is part of a new alternative energy technology programme the college created to help retrain the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the collapse of the auto industry.

Sean Peppers, 37, has spent nearly two decades working in auto supplier plants but has not been called for a single interview since he was laid off from his engineering job in January. He hopes the alternative energy degree will help him find work at a plant building parts for wind turbines, or solar panels, or anything that is not a car. Most of the 65 students taking the alternative energy classes are getting their tuition paid through an state programme which provides scholarships to Michigan residents who are unemployed or earning less than 40,000 dollars a year." See full article.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Long Island's Green Workforce Grows

A partnership between a New York utility and BP Solar is producing new jobs.

Claude Solnik at Long Island Business News reports:

"When the Long Island Power Authority in March chose BP Solar to provide 37 megawatts of photovoltaic power at Brookhaven National Laboratory, it was good news for solar advocates. But those in the local solar industry worried the nation’s biggest ground-mounted solar installation might be built in their backyard without Long Island labor.
BP has since said it expects the project, big enough to power 4,700 homes, to provide a boost for local solar workers, generating more than 200 jobs for construction, engineering and electrical work." See full article.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Main Reasons Green Jobs Are For Real

It is good to see the reasons green jobs are for real pulled together in one place.

Carol McClelland, PhD at Article Maniac reports:

"Is the green economy the next big bubble? Or in other words...Is it worth training for jobs in the green economy or will they vanish by the time we are ready to go to work? My take on this question: Although I am not an economist, politician, or psychic, I have been tracking developments in the green economy for over two years. I continue to see signs of momentum in a variety of arenas." See list of reasons.

Also see McClelland's website: Green Career Central

New Jersey Energy Audit Program Produces New Green Jobs

A New Jersey Utility is creating new jobs by cutting waste and helping people with energy audits.

Beth Fitzgerald at reports:

"Al Matos, vice president of renewables and energy solutions for Public Service Electric & Gas, said the company has hired 13 energy auditors, and should have 200 or more on board in three years. The training and deployment of energy auditors is funded through state and federal programs, and overseen by the state Department of Labor’s Green Job Training Partnership Program. The state’s utilities industry could eventually provide 1,000 or more of these entry-level green jobs, Matos said. “I think this is going to be very big,” Matos said. “Between the federal and state support, we are going to have more and more of these green jobs to do home and business energy audits, and to install solar panels.” See full article.