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Needed: Green Jobs to Help Connecticut Compete

March 8, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - Fourteen major environmental organizations in Connecticut have joined with business and labor groups to press the General Assembly to create green jobs - without adding to the budget deficit. Connecticut is already a leader in programs to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy, but has lagged behind other states in green jobs creation.

The broad coalition is urging state lawmakers to support more jobs promoting clean energy, mass transit and local agriculture - all without adding to the budget deficit. Chris Phelps, program director for Environment Connecticut, explains how that could happen.

"The good news is that we've got plenty of really innovative ways to finance growth in clean energy and other environmentally protective technologies - ways that also create jobs."

Two ideas are to go after federal stimulus funds and to provide loans that allow homeowners to have renewable energy systems and energy efficiency upgrades installed, which would pay for themselves in short order.

Phelps says solar energy programs in Connecticut are lagging behind other states, but effective action could change that picture.

"The solar bill that the coalition is supporting would create over 1,000 new jobs in solar companies working here in Connecticut."

More information on the proposed legislation and other green initiatives in Connecticut is available at www.environmentconnecticut.org.


Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT