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Report: Potential For Clean Energy Jobs In WV

June 15, 2009

There are more than 3,000 clean-energy-economy jobs already created in West Virginia, with more that could follow. That's according to a new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts on how the clean energy economy is playing out – and what potential is on the horizon.

According to the report – the first count of its kind – jobs in such industries as wind power and energy conservation grew twice as fast as the national average, even increasing during the continuing recession. Phyllis Cuttino, director of U.S. Global Warming Policy with the Pew Environment Group, says elected leaders, businesses and every-day working people are seeing opportunities in the transition to a clean energy economy.

"There's a real future for good, well-paying jobs for workers of all skill sets across America, if we just make the right investments."

Eric Mathis, project director with the JOBS Project based in Mingo County, says his group wants to start small, community-owned alternative energy sites in the southern coalfield counties.

"These would be small energy production facilities, whether it's biomass or three or four utility-scale wind turbines set up on community land. It'll actually be owned by the community members themselves."

Mathis says they have more than 30 sites under consideration and more than 100 million dollars in investment money already available.

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.

The Pew study found three-quarters of a million Americans now working in the clean-energy economy.

The full Pew report, "The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America," is at

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV