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Made in America: Clean Energy to Create 5,000 Jobs in S. Dak

August 21, 2009

Howard, SD - A group that's promoting more investment in renewable energy says that 5,000 jobs could be created in South Dakota with a transition to a clean energy economy. The remarks from Matt McGovern, South Dakota state director of Repower America, were made this week at a 'Made in America Jobs Tour' at the Knight and Carver Wind Group blade manufacturing facility in Howard. McGovern says the visit highlighted the importance of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which is still pending in the U.S. Senate. Opponents say the legislation will raise household energy costs by up to $13,000 annually by 2015. However, McGovern says the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a study showing costs closer to $175 per household per year.

"That comes out to about 45 cents a day and that did not include money that will be refunded to help lower their bills. It also did not include the money that we'll be saving from the energy efficiency provisions. The costs are going to be pretty minimal and will have tremendous benefits in creating new jobs, helping us break our dependence on foreign oil and helping solve the climate crisis."

The clean energy legislation would give a jolt to the state's economy by creating new jobs in the state's wind energy industry, he adds, as well as other opportunities for workers to make homes and businesses more energy efficient.

Doug Sombke, president of the South Dakota Farmers Union says that, in addition to promoting the cap-and-trade system that pays farmers to store carbon emissions, the legislation also creates another strong economic job engine for South Dakota's rural communities.

"I'm pretty excited about what can happen for these smaller communities. We've seen some of these people that are going to be here for awhile actually buy homes in the communities; are going to live here. A lot of good things are going to happen because of the development, not to mention the carbon credit cap-and-trade."

Repower's 'Made in America Jobs Tour' in Howard was conducted as part of a national partnership with the Alliance for Climate Change and the Blue Green Alliance to promote a clean energy economy for the state and nation. A second tour is being planned for Western South Dakota.



David Law, Public News Service - SD