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New Study: 27,300 “Clean, Green” Jobs for OR?

September 10, 2008

Portland, OR – Think of clean energy as the next economic stimulus package. A new report shows making a similar dollar investment in the "green energy economy" would bring more than 27,000 good-paying jobs to Oregon. The study from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst looked at what it would take to update rail and mass transit, develop alternative energy, improve the nation's electric power grid, and retrofit older buildings to make them more energy-efficient.

Nic Callero is working with an Oregon coalition of conservation and labor groups that wants to see it happen.

"In a state-by-state case, they evaluated where these jobs would be created. What they found is that a lot of them were in same sectors that people are already working in, and several of these sectors are actually struggling with unemployment and with layoffs."

The study says pumping the same amount of money into the oil industry would create only one-quarter of the jobs. Critics of the report say it's overly optimistic, and that not all the new "green" jobs would be permanent.

Callero, who works for the National Wildlife Federation, says companies already involved in clean energy development in Oregon are doing well, despite the slowing national economy.

"The report highlights that the beginning steps that we have been taking, here in Portland and statewide, are going to be extremely beneficial."

Callero believes a side benefit of the plan is a cleaner environment, which is why his organization got involved. However, he says, jobs that pay $16 per hour and up may be what really turn Oregonians on to the “clean energy” economy.

The study says pumping the same amount of money into the oil industry would create only one-quarter of the jobs.
Critics of the report say it's overly optimistic, and that not all the new "green" jobs would be permanent.

The report was written by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and commissioned by the Center for American Progress. The full report is available online at
www.peri.umass.edu.


Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR