Investing in Green Technologies is Better for Businesses and Consumers
Senator Applauds Local Efforts to Boost Economy and Create Jobs
Wednesday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) met with representatives from the city of Seattle, industry, and education in King County at South Seattle Community College - Duwamish Campus to discuss the value of extending the green energy tax credits program, investing in alternative energy sources and technologies, and creating new, high-paying green jobs.
"With the pace of technological and market innovation in the energy industry, Washington state has a unique opportunity to create thousands of family-wage green collar jobs while simultaneously improving our economy, environment, and national security," said Cantwell. "From the work being done by Seattle City Light to promote energy efficiency, to South Seattle City College helping train the green collar workers of tomorrow, and V2 Green providing a key technology to make plug-in electric vehicles a reality - this city really is at the forefront of what is possible. I will continue to push for 21st century energy policies that complement local communities' efforts, ensure all Washingtonians have access to affordable energy supplies, and help create green collar jobs across the country."
Currently, Washington has approximately 241 organizations working in the clean energy industry. These organizations employ nearly 9,000 people at an average wage of $60,000. Total revenues exceed $2.1 billion annually - putting the clean energy industry larger than both the state's logging industry ($1.9 billion) and coffee/espresso shop industry ($1.7 billion). The Washington state clean energy industry is expected to grow 180 percent in the next 20 years to $4 billion per year. Just in King County, the wind and solar industries alone will create 2,500 jobs and an investment of over $465 million.
During the event, Cantwell applauded local efforts, in particular to South Seattle Community College- Duwamish Campus for offering a variety of green collar courses incorporated into: construction, hybrid-automotive, horticulture, solar, energy auditing. These are generally non-extensive 1-year re-training programs and courses that are creating quality wage jobs.
Earlier this month, Cantwell fought to get an extension of critical clean energy tax extensions for businesses and consumers as part of the economic stimulus package. While the Cantwell amendment was approved by the Senate Finance Committee, and would have led to tens of billions of dollars in investment and more than a 100,000 new jobs in 2008, her provision failed by one vote from being included in the final law.
Cantwell has made making our nation's energy system cleaner, more efficient, and more diverse one of her top priorities. She leverages her membership on the Senate Energy, Commerce, and Finance Committees to push her vision of a clean energy economy and to support budding clean energy industries. Most recently, she was a key player in drafting and ensuring passage of the bipartisan 2007 Energy bill, which raises fuel efficiency standards for the first time in more than two decades, strengthens and expands the growing market for ethanol and biodiesel, and creates a ban on oil market manipulation.