Investments in cleantech made through the Recovery Act (Stimulus bill) through the end of 2010 have created or saved nearly 1 million green jobs, according to a report released today by the Economic Policy Institute and the BlueGreen Alliance.
On the two-year anniversary of the enactment of the American Recoveryand Reinvestment Act, and as President Obama and Congress debate thisyear’s budget, the report shows that investing in green technologyhelped our country exit the economic crisis by creating jobs whilealso laying the foundation for development of a 21st century greeneconomy in the US.
"Green investments are among the best and fastest way to solve ournation’s unemployment crisis. If we radically reduce the budget deficitwithout making green investments proven to create jobs, we will besquandering one of our best strategies for getting Americans back towork and keeping America competitive in the global economy," says DavidFoster, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director.
Rebuilding Green: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Green Economy, finds that, in addition to creating jobs, the $93 billion injected into green investments increased U.S. GDP by $146 billion. The jobs created orpreserved helped some of the country’s most vulnerable workers,including middle-wage earners and those with less than a four-yearcollege degree.
This report also examines the overall effectiveness of the Recovery Act(ARRA) in stemming the economic crisis, and presents evidence that, bythe middle of 2010, it created or saved up to 3.4 million jobs, boostedGDP by up to $520 billion, and reduced the unemployment rate up to 1.8percentage points.
Rebuilding Green illustrates how green investments translatedinto economic activity through case studies of these investments andtheir success in job creation. It also demonstrates how green jobs arecentral to the overall economy and scalable with the right policies.
The Industrial Technologies Program, for example, used ARRA fundsmatched by ArcelorMittal to add an additional boiler toco-generate steam and electricity at its Indiana Harbor plant.Co-generation at this facility will generate enough energy to power theequivalent of nearly 30,000 American homes for a year, and decreasegreenhouse gas emissions by approximately 333,000 tons annually – theequivalent of taking over 60,000 cars off the road. The project supports 360 jobs related to the design, construction, and manufacture of theequipment alone, employs 200 local construction workers, and, throughthe energy cost-savings it yields, supports thousands of workers whorely on the ArcelorMittal plant for jobs
"The U.S. needs a national jobs strategy that capitalizes on the manyjob-creating prospects in the green economy," says Leo Gerard,International President of the United Steelworkers, which representsworkers in the Indiana Harbor plant. "We need to continue theseimportant investments to ensure that we are creating good, middle-classjobs and to help the U.S. lead the global race for the jobs andindustries of the future."