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Apr 19 (Sat), 10:00 am
CANCELLED Palisades Interstate Park Sierra Silver Singles Hike
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Film: Groundswell Rising, Protecting Our Children's Air And Water
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Pew Report Challenges Campaign Rhetoric on Green Jobs

Date : Wed, 8 Jul 2009 13:47:37 -0400

  For Immediate Release
July 8, 2009 Contact: Jeff Tittel, Chapter Director

  (609) 558-9100

Green Talk Vs. Green Jobs Pew Report Challenges Campaign Rhetoric on Green Jobs

As the political debate this week centers around clean energy and green jobs, with most major party candidates doing events, the Pew Charitable Trusts has released a report that paints a grim picture of New Jersey's growth in this sector.

While the NJ Sierra Club is glad to see the environment and energy on the front page of the gubernatorial campaign, we are taking a close look at what the candidates are saying and what it actually means for New Jersey. We believe we have to get behind the rhetoric and instead look at independent evaluations of New Jersey's performance when it comes to green jobs.

Pew's green jobs report, The Clean Energy Economy, ranks New Jersey near the bottom when it comes to green job growth. Statistics in the report go on to show that, while New Jersey is good at developing programs, it is lagging when it comes to attaining real results.

"While the Corzine Administration was out there trying to save Xanadu, Pennsylvania was able to entice a windmill factory to open its doors right across the river from the statehouse," NJ Director Jeff Tittel said. "While New Jersey has talked a lot about renewable energy, other states are actually doing things. While New Jersey has put in place programs for energy efficiency, other states have actually created jobs and are getting the job done."

"At the national level, the federal stimulus bill encouraged green jobs and clean energy development," Tittel said. "Unfortunately, New Jersey's own bill is all about giving green to developers and does nothing to create green jobs."

Even in areas of the green economy where New Jersey has experienced success, like solar manufacturing, many of the programs and funding sources that made this growth a reality go back more than 10 years. In fact, it was changes Governor McGreevy made to free up money from the Societal Benefits Charge that jumpstarted the state's renewable energy program.

It was the Renewable Portfolio Standard proposed by Governor McGreevy and signed into law by Governor Codey that raised our standards to 22% and really pushed our renewable energy programs forward. Since that time, the program has been lagging due to a shift to a market-based system and the failure to enact community solar and other key components.

The Pew Report considered five job categories to determine data: clean energy, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly production, conservation and pollution mitigation, and training and support.

According to the Pew Report, between 1998-2007:

* Green jobs in New Jersey declined by 9.6%; the worst performance of any state besides Utah * 42 states saw an increase in green job growth; New Jersey was one of eight states to actually loose jobs * While the nation experienced a 9.1% gain in green jobs; New Jersey lost 9.6% * States a third of the size of New Jersey, such as Massachusetts, actually have more green jobs than we do * The vast majority - approximately 80% -- of New Jersey's green are in conservation and pollution mitigation programs * Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, New Jersey comes in 35th place in percentage of energy efficiency jobs * New Jersey ranks 43rd in environmentally friendly production jobs and 34th in training and support category jobs * New Jersey is last when it comes to clean energy business relative growth * 29 states and the District of Columbia have established renewable portfolio standards and 19 states are more stringent efficiency standards than New Jersey. * On a positive note, among the top 15 in green businesses, and in the top ten in venture capital investments and patents

"New Jersey has plenty of green businesses, clean energy venture capitalists, and researchers coming up with more patents, so why aren't these positive things leading to more green jobs?," Tittel said. "Is it a lack of leadership or are people working in green jobs just not politically connected?"

"We need to hear more specifics from the gubernatorial candidates as to how they plan on increasing our state's green jobs economy," Tittel said. "We're looking forward to hearing more about the candidates' proposals that deal with green jobs and the environment."

The full report can be found at:

http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/uploadedFiles/Clean_Economy_Report_Web.p df

Kara Seymour, Program Assistant NJ Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618

609.656.7612

(f) 609.656.7618

<http://www.newjersey.sierraclub.org> www.newjersey.sierraclub.org

Received on 2009-07-08 10:47:37

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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