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Coalition: Clean Energy Opens the Door to Ohio Job Growth



August 14, 2009

Columbus - Investments in clean energy could be a central factor in revitalizing Ohio's faltering economy, according to a new set of studies. Released by a diverse coalition of organizations, the data emphasizes that comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation could renew Ohio's economy with clean energy jobs.

Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore Labor Federation, says Ohio is well-positioned to help get America running on clean energy.

"We have a skilled work force, we have a very developed supply chain, and infrastructure. We have, literally, everything we need. If we can make it work here, I think it will ensure a bright future for Ohio."

More than 35,000 Ohioans already are employed in the clean energy economy, according to a study from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Ohio spokesman Tom Bullock says the jobs are real.

"There are new opportunities and Congress should keep that in sight as we approach the issues of clean energy, reducing reliance on foreign oil and curbing the pollution that leads to global warming. That is a problem that is more expensive the longer we wait."

A study from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst found that over 67,000 additional clean energy jobs would be created in Ohio under the American Clean Energy Security Act, passed by the House. Roger Wise, president of the Ohio Farmers Union, says the legislation offers farmers a chance to be a part of the solution.

"Energy credits and offsets will benefit industry as well as offer farmers an opportunity for income, and in today's agricultural climate, we certainly need those kinds of opportunities."

A report from the Natural Resources Defense Council found that a clean energy jobs plan would lower unemployment and reduce living costs for low-income Ohioans. In a new Zogby International poll, more than half of respondents agreed the Senate should act quickly on the clean energy plan. Opponents say proposed clean energy legislation would be expensive and result in higher energy costs for consumers.

The reports can be found at www.pewtrusts.org, www.americanprogress.org, www.greenforall.org, and www.nwf.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH