Saturday, March 07, 2009

Some Good News For A Change

As lousy as the economy is, and probably will be for at least this year, there still is a little bit of good news, especially after passage of the stimulus bill. Employers in the "green sector" are hiring, and hiring now, according to this article in yesterday's Boston Globe. Here are some of the numbers being projected for just Massachusetts:

Companies looking to add employees include Aeronautica Windpower in Plymouth, lithium-ion battery maker Boston-Power Inc. in Westborough, and Conservation Services Group, also in Westborough. Eco-friendly experience is a plus, but not required.

The workforce expansions are being partly spurred by the federal economic stimulus package, which includes billions for home energy-efficiency upgrades and an extension of a tax credit for renewable energy technologies such as wind power. Within the next two years, stimulus spending is expected to create or save 79,000 jobs in Massachusetts, and an estimated 3.5 million nationwide, according to the federal government. ...

According to a spokesman for congressman Ed Markey, the Malden Democrat who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Massachusetts is set to get $125 million in stimulus funds for weatherization projects and $55 million in state energy block grants to be used mainly for energy-efficiency programs. That money is expected to create an estimated 6,500 jobs related to weatherization and hundreds as part of the energy-efficiency programs.

Admittedly, the numbers aren't huge, and they certainly don't and won't offset the loss of manufacturing jobs if the auto industry completely fails, at least not for an appreciable period of time. Those numbers, however, are a decent start, and as the federal investment in further research and development in these industries kicks in, hopefully stimulating private investment as well, new industries will be born, meaning more jobs.

There are some additional benefits to the growth of this industrial sector. By replacing oil with wind and solar for energy sources, the environment should improve and the dire consequences of climate change might be forestalled, perhaps even reversed. Energy self-sufficiency might even improve the diplomatic climate, giving us a saner, more rational approach to our dealings in the Middle East and Africa.

This is the news that the GOP is hiding when it whines about high speed trains to "Sin City" and marsh mice. The stimulus package has elements in it that just might work, and appear to be working already. It's a shame that most congressional Republicans won't admit to that, and refuse to get on board for the industrial shift that obviously has to take place.

We'll have to remind them of that in 2010.

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Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

This might mitigate the "joy" a little: Obama delisted northern Grey Wolves yesterday...

6:27 AM  
Blogger BeyondGreen said...

There could be no better investment in America than to invest in America becoming energy independent! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources.Create cheap clean energy, new badly needed green jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. The cost of fuel effects every facet of consumer goods from production to shipping costs. After a brief reprieve gas is inching back up.OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel.If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV's instead had plug-in electric drive trainsthe amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota.There is a really good new book out by Jeff Wilson called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now.

5:48 PM  

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