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Going Green in Michigan: A Better Environment While Creating Jobs

January 13, 2009

Detroit, MI - A large-scale, green economic plan could improve Michigan's struggling economy, make buildings more energy efficient, and create tens of thousands of jobs - but only if it becomes a reality.

It's part of a plan from the Center for American Progress that includes a two-year national green economic program, to build a low-carbon economy and create an estimated 800,000 jobs nationwide. Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council Secretary-Treasurer Pat Devlin says, for Michigan, the benefit would be creation of more than 61,000 jobs to work on green projects.

"All federal buildings, getting them to today's green energy efficiences; mass transit, wind power is a big one, solar power and advanced bio-fuels."

It could put the brakes on the state unemployment rate, which is currently headed toward double digits. Devlin points out that, with hundreds of thousands of Michigan workers laid off, there are plenty of skilled workers ready to get back on the job.

"Especially on wind power and solar power, we've got a ready-skilled workforce here, to step right in and start manufacturing the needs for both those ventures."

The plan could be derailed, however, because the economic rescue package has foes, who are concerned about increasing the federal deficit.

Tony Bruscato, Public News Service - MI