Chicago Green Jobs

Statistics on the Table: Green Recovery Report
February 25, 2009, 3:08 am
Filed under: Stimulus Bill

As a project developer, there is nothing I like more than a nice, meaty, report that’s choc full of numbers.*  I just came across this splendid report: The Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low Carbon Economy, published jointly by the Center for American Progress and PERI. The report outlines an economic recovery program the authors believe will create 2 million green jobs. The price tag? $100 billion over two years – a très 2009 number.

The Green Recovery plan divides that $100 billion into six renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors:

  1. Retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency
  2. Expanding mass transit and freight rail
  3. Constructing “smart” electrical grid transmission systems
  4. Wind power
  5. Solar power
  6. Next-generation biofuels

Most of the jobs in these sectors have familiar titles: Civil Engineers. Electricians. Construction Laborers. Metal Fabricators. Agricultural Workers. It’s the end result that makes these familiar sounding jobs green: the infrastructure to support a low-carbon economy that combats global warming and weans us off foreign oil.

Oh, and speaking of oil – I really like the part about how investing that same $100 billion in the oil industry would net a mere 542,000 jobs. I love finding numbers that show that the right thing to do is also the most cost-effective.

This report was published in September 2008, so the burning question is: how does the stimulus bill stack up against this plan? The authors were careful to point out that any stimulus program would need to be structured differently, with a greater emphasis on short term plans. Still, the $80 billion or so in green investments in the stimulus bill is in the same ballpark as the $100 billion recommended in this report, and there is doubtless some overlap. I’m going to do some research and make a few calls over the next few days and see what I can find out.

*At home I prefer Terry Pratchett novels.


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