A report issued by the the Sierra Club, United Steelworkers, the Blue Green Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council and Audubon New York says that investment in the biodiesel and ethanol industries, wind energy, and solar power could produce four times the number of jobs as compared to investing that same amount in the petroleum oil sector.
And this article from the New York Times says the number of those jobs being good-paying… at least $16 an hour… could be triple what the petroleum industry offers:
Such jobs are based on the proposed investment of $100 billion over two years, through a cap-and-trade program like those sponsored last year in Congress that would “drive private investments into clean energy and raise public revenue through carbon permit auctions.” And spending $26 billion on retrofitting, for example, could save $5 billion in energy costs a year, for a net savings after five years or so, according to the report.
Robert Pollin, the lead author and a co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said many elements of the recommended plan were already in place, in some form.
“There are incentives for retrofits, tax and production credits for wind, solar and geothermal energy, and loan guarantees. I’m talking about ramping up dramatically the scale of these things. Why not do it now, because we know we have to do it sooner or later, and it’s also the most efficient single job program we could come up with.”
The article goes on to point out how one New York firm has hired 15 people who used to be homeless or incarcerated to haul waste restaurant grease to a facility to turn it into biodiesel… renewing energy and people’s lives.