In his latest commentary on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Pace Energy & Climate Center Executive Director Franz Litz takes on conservative columnists and pundits who claim that green jobs are a myth, and that government policies to encourage investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency have failed. The facts say otherwise, says Litz.
The arguments for investments in energy efficiency boil down to a simple proposition: if we can pay less to heat and power our homes and businesses and to transport ourselves and our stuff, then we will be better off economically. If we can pay less for energy and lead the same quality of life, why wouldn’t we do that?… When we improve the efficiency of our homes and businesses and our cars and trucks we invest in a lower-cost future for ourselves. When we cut our energy costs, we free up money to spend on other things, or to save or invest in our local economies.
Moreover, he says, “Engaging a contractor to weatherize a home, install a new efficient heating system, efficient appliances and lighting—these are investments in the local economy where jobs are created.”
Litz cites a study by the Brookings Institution released this past summer, which documented those areas of the country that have benefited most from green job growth. The Capital Region of New York State saw green job growth of about 8.8% per year from 2003 to 2010, making it the 5th fastest growing green job market in the country. What’s more, those jobs pay 8.5% more than the average job in the region. Other metro areas did similarly well in the Northeast during the same time period.
Read the full transcript here.
Listen to the segment here.