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Report: Minnesota is Fertile Ground for the Green Economy

June 3, 2008

Minneapolis, MN – Minnesota stands to gain from the development of more "green jobs." Joshua Low with the Blue Green Alliance says a new study by his organization, published today, calls for putting more public resources into areas that will reduce global warming and speed the transition to a clean-energy economy.

He says there are a lot of areas ripe for development.

"We can benefit from building, retrofitting, investing in mass transit, investing in energy-efficient automobiles, in wind power, in solar panels and investing in cellulosic biofuels."

Low says there are already lots of "green jobs" out there. The key is to develop more of them, and make sure they pay enough to attract skilled workers.

He says the move towards a clean environment and energy independence offers a lot of opportunities.

"We need to put Minnesotans back to work. Minnesota is facing the threat of a recession, and we need to create thousands of jobs here in manufacturing, in the service sector, jobs that will pay a decent, living wage. A green job is a job that can support a family."

The study notes that Minnesota has the resources, technology and expertise to be a major player in the emerging energy economy.

Low says creating jobs based on homegrown sources of energy will also slow the export of American dollars and expertise.

"We take the money that is currently going to oil companies, in the form of subsidies that are making them rich, and we instead invest those funds in renewable energy that creates thousands of jobs here in Minnesota."

The Blue Green Alliance is a joint effort by the Minnesota United Steelworkers Union and the Sierra Club.

Jim Wishner/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - MN