Investments in cleantech made through the Recovery Act (Stimulus bill) through the end of 2010 have created or saved nearly 1 million green jobs, according to a report released today by the Economic Policy Institute and the BlueGreen Alliance.
On the two-year anniversary of the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and as President Obama and Congress debate this year's budget, the report shows that investing in green technology helped our country exit the economic crisis by creating jobs while also laying the foundation for development of a 21st century green economy in the US.
"Green investments are among the best and fastest way to solve our nation's unemployment crisis. If we radically reduce the budget deficit without making green investments proven to create jobs, we will be squandering one of our best strategies for getting Americans back to work and keeping America competitive in the global economy," says David Foster, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director.
Rebuilding Green: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Green Economy, finds that, in addition to creating jobs, the $93 billion injected into green investments increased U.S. GDP by $146 billion. The jobs created or preserved helped some of the country's most vulnerable workers, including middle-wage earners and those with less than a four-year college degree.
This report also examines the overall effectiveness of the Recovery Act (ARRA) in stemming the economic crisis, and presents evidence that, by the middle of 2010, it created or saved up to 3.4 million jobs, boosted GDP by up to $520 billion, and reduced the unemployment rate up to 1.8 percentage points.
Rebuilding Green illustrates how green investments translated into economic activity through case studies of these investments and their success in job creation. It also demonstrates how green jobs are central to the overall economy and scalable with the right policies.
The Industrial Technologies Program, for example, used ARRA funds matched by ArcelorMittal to add an additional boiler to co-generate steam and electricity at its Indiana Harbor plant. Co-generation at this facility will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of nearly 30,000 American homes for a year, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 333,000 tons annually - the equivalent of taking over 60,000 cars off the road. The project supports 360 jobs related to the design, construction, and manufacture of the equipment alone, employs 200 local construction workers, and, through the energy cost-savings it yields, supports thousands of workers who rely on the ArcelorMittal plant for jobs
"The U.S. needs a national jobs strategy that capitalizes on the many job-creating prospects in the green economy," says Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers, which represents workers in the Indiana Harbor plant. "We need to continue these important investments to ensure that we are creating good, middle-class jobs and to help the U.S. lead the global race for the jobs and industries of the future."