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Pew Report: S.Dak Clean Energy Jobs Showing Explosive Growth

June 11, 2009

Washington, D.C. – A report released this week by The Pew Charitable Trusts shows job growth in South Dakota’s clean energy sector has exploded in recent years, increasing 19 times faster than other jobs overall, and representing an increase of more than 93 percent. That compares to South Dakota jobs overall, which grew by 4.9 percent, according to Phyllis Cuttino, director of the U.S. Global Warming Campaign for the Pew Environment Group.

"South Dakota’s clean energy economy is small but it’s growing at a tremendous rate. Jobs in this sector almost doubled between 1998 and 2007. South Dakota can provide almost half of America’s electricity needs through wind. That’s a role that South Dakota should embrace."

The report documents a growing clean energy economy that’s creating well-paying jobs in South Dakota for people of all skill levels and educational backgrounds, according to Cuttino. She reports bipartisan support and a growing market demand for transitioning to the clean energy economy, with the private sector viewing it as a significant and growing market opportunity even in uncertain economic times.

"In 2008 venture capitalists - even in a downturn - invested 12.6 billion dollars. These jobs in the clean energy economy outperformed traditional American jobs."

Pew expects South Dakota’s clean energy economy to receive a boost from the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is allocating nearly $85 billion nationwide in direct spending and tax incentives for energy and transportation related programs. South Dakota also provides financial incentives for clean energy.

Critics of previous reports on how a clean energy economy could lead to job growth and business investments pointed to flaws in formulas used to make estimates. This report counted actual jobs and investments. Nationally, jobs in the clean energy economy grew at a rate of about nine percent from 1998 to 2007, while total jobs grew at less than half that rate.

The full report, The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America, can be viewed online at

David Law, Public News Service - SD