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While You Were Sleeping

October 15, 2012 - This is interesting: businesses that have incorporated environmentally friendly practices are enjoying more growth than those that haven't.  The jobs created, known as green jobs, can be found in the renewable energy sector, water management, recycling, and anywhere within a company that is attempting to reduce its carbon footprint.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines green jobs this way -

"Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources; or, jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's [employer's] production processes more environmentally friendly or ensuring that they use fewer natural resources."

According to the Brookings Institution's 2011 Green Jobs Assessment, the "clean economy" grew by 8.3 percent between 2008 and 2009 - the height of the economic downturn.  That growth rate was almost double that of the conventional economy.  Climate Progress reports that the greener the company, the higher the job growth rate during the past decade.

Here's a very good example of what that can mean.  The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) is intended to serve as a transmission network from Virginia to New Jersey, where it will connect to a series of offshore wind farms.  These wind farms will be erected offshore because of the steadier, stronger winds there.  The AWC's backers, which include Google and Japanese firm Marubeni, commissioned a study which says that more than 70,000 new jobs would result from its construction and operation.  An additional 40,000 people would be needed to service the network's supply chain.  These jobs would develop during the 10-year build-out of the project.

AWC is, in fact, ahead of schedule and currently under construction, with the laying of a 380 mile power line that will carry 7,000 megawatts of electricity produced by the aforementioned offshore wind farms.  Cost comes in at $5 billion.  Multiple transmission hubs will also be installed for future wind farms.  With the undersea transmission lines already in place, the Mid-Atlantic would have the infrastructure necessary to attract more developers and their turbines.  The initial project will be enough to electrify 2 million homes in the Mid-Atlantic region., and the resulting combined economic impact for the states involved would total $19 billion.  Increased local, state and federal revenues will amount to $4.6 billion.  The first project should be up-and-running in 2016.

Whoops - forgot to write about China!  NEXT WEEK.

Thanks to Climate Progress for the information in this article.

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