Green Jobs and the Future

It’s a good night for the green economy when two presidential hopefuls list creating green jobs as a key part of their proposals for economic growth. Both Clinton and Obama baldly stated, with little introduction or explanation, the place that green jobs will have in the future. We’re at the point where people get the potential and can believe in this.

In response to a question about exporting jobs, Obama replied:

“What do we have to do? We’re going to have to invest in infrastructure to make sure that we’re competitive. And I’ve got a plan to do that. We’re going to have to invest in science and technology. We’ve got to vastly improve our education system. We have to look at energy and the potential for creating green jobs that can not just save on our energy costs but, more importantly, can create jobs in building windmills that will produce manufacturing jobs here in Ohio, can put rural communities back on their feet by working on alternative fuels, making buildings more energy efficient.

We can hire young people who are out of work and put them to work in the trade. So there are all sorts of things that we’re going to have to do to make the United States economy much more competitive, and those are plans that I have put forward in this campaign and I expect to pursue as president of the United States of America.”

Immediately after that, in response to the moderator’s question to Clinton about how she planned to create the 5 million jobs she had proposed, Clinton said:

“I’m not just talking about it. I helped to pass legislation to begin a training program for green collar jobs. I want to see people throughout Ohio being trained to do the work that will put solar panels on roofs, install wind turbines, do geothermal, take advantage of biofuels, and I know that if we had put $5 billion into the stimulus package to really invest in the training and the tax incentives that would have created those jobs as the Democrats wanted, as I originally proposed, we would be on the way to creating those.”

You know, take a country like Germany. They made a big bet on solar power. They have a smaller economy and population than ours.

They’ve created several hundred thousand new jobs, and these are jobs that can’t be outsourced. These are jobs that have to be done in Youngstown, in Dayton, in Cincinnati. These are jobs that we can create here with the right combination of tax incentives, training, and a commitment to following through. So I do think that at least 5 million jobs are fully capable of being produced within the next 10 years.”

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