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Renewable Energy Is Bringing Good Jobs To The Midwest. Is Anyone In Washington Paying Attention?

Employment in renewable energy is booming all across America’s heartland, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. So why does the federal government want to cut spending on renewable energy?

Yo, Donny. You want good paying jobs for Americans? Renewable energy has sparked an employment boom in the Midwest, but your policies are trying to kill it. Why don’t you try being for something for a change instead of opposed to everything? America is not going back to some supposed golden age when the steel mills lit up the nighttime sky all across the heartland. It’s time to grow up, Donny, and embrace the future rather than peddling your pernicious myths about the past.

A report by the Natural Resources Defense Council lays it all out for you. In state after state across the Midwest, renewable energy jobs are leading the way while employment in fossil fuel related industries is falling. If you could read — which all the observable evidence suggests you cannot — the charts in the NRDC report and in this Inside Climate News article would tell you all you need to know.

“All in all, rural renewable energy projects are laying the foundation for a clean energy economy that meets the needs of local communities and provides clean and affordable energy throughout the (midwestern) region,” says Arjun Krishnaswami, a policy analyst for NRDC. “Federal leaders should increase funding for clean energy research, development, and demonstration projects that will continue to bring down the costs of clean energy and allow more people to gain access.”

Douglas Jester, a partner in a clean energy consulting firm in Lansing, Michigan, tells Inside Climate News, “Having modern jobs available gives young people an opportunity to stay, and that stabilizes the community. That’s a socially significant thing, not just an economically significant one.”

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

The increase in employment in the renewable energy sector across the Midwest is no fluke. Renewables simply cost less than their fossil fuel equivalents. That economic imperative is what is driving the booming job market in wind and solar related industries.

It’s not just cities that are benefiting from the increase in renewable energy jobs. Here’s a chart that shows how much of that increase is attributable to rural areas. In most states, it exceeds the increase in urban areas.

The NRDC report says:

“The federal government has played a huge role in the clean energy boom, through efforts that include innovation programs, rural development grants, and tax credits. Continued federal investment can further accelerate the booming clean energy economy in rural communities.” Sadly, the federal government is dominated by fossil fuel ideologues today and it proposing massive cuts to the programs that have brought employment opportunities to many rural Americans.

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency resources are proven drivers of job creation and economic growth. Their progress in the rural Midwest is part of a national trend — wind and solar energy are booming throughout rural America, and nationwide investments in energy efficiency continue to pay off in energy and cost savings. Given the increasing appeal of low cost renewable energy in rural communities, the clean energy revolution will only gain speed throughout rural America.”

We could send you a copy of the report, Donny. Maybe you could hire someone to read it to you?

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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