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Report: Clean Energy Equals 6,000+ Jobs for MT

September 9, 2008

Billings, MT – Bring on the jobs! A report released today by a coalition of national and Montana conservation organizations shows Big Sky Country would gain more than 6,300 new jobs in a "green investment program." Roy Houseman with United Steelworkers Local 885 says these would be good-paying jobs, updating energy efficiency in public buildings and working on wind farms. He says such a "green" plan also would benefit taxpayers.

"These jobs stem straight from economic and common sense policies. For example, retrofitting publicly-owned buildings is investing in our own infrastructure."

Dave Ryan with the Montana Renewable Energy Association says the report documents how "green" jobs would be available for people locally and throughout the state, not just in one or two areas.

"There are more jobs created with renewable energy than from fossil fuels, and they are local jobs."

According to the report, two million new jobs could be created nationwide, with most paying in the $16-an-hour range. The cost of this "green program" could be financed through auctions of carbon permits to reduce climate change pollution, not by taxpayers.

Researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst wrote the report, which was commissioned by the Center for American Progress. Critics say it is overly optimistic and point out that some jobs--notably those in construction--would not be permanent.

To view the full report online, visit

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MT