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Ariana Riegel, Published November 21 2009

Clean energy jobs and the jobs act

The recent visit by American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode to the Fargo-Moorhead area offers a rosy picture for the future of renewable energy. The job growth and development in the sector offer a promising forecast for our economy.

With the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act now in Senate committee hearings, we have even greater opportunity to continue to repower our economy and protect our open spaces. Investing in wind and solar technologies and energy efficiency would not only create jobs, but also save our households and businesses money. For instance, a recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that passing a comprehensive set of aggressive clean energy policies and capping global warming pollution would cut costs in the west north central region by $800 per household annually and save consumers and businesses a total of $16 billion annually in 2030. These savings would significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and stop global warming pollution.

Now is the time for decisive action to ensure a sustainable future for our economy and our environment. Rep. Collin Peterson,

D-Minn., helped pass landmark clean energy legislation through the House this summer. However, the House bill is not nearly as strong as it needs to be in order to safeguard our livelihoods and our natural resources.

I urge both of our senators to fight for a stronger clean energy bill that will create millions of good-paying green jobs and save area residents money on their energy bills through investments in wind, solar and energy efficiency. We need a strong climate solution now.

Riegel is with Environment Minnesota, a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization.