Green jobs promoted at LegislatureA group of Minnesota legislators says 70,000 Minnesotans could hold clean-energy jobs if lawmakers approve a list of recommendations. The legislators say 50,000 so-called “green jobs” would be retained and 20,000 added – with $15 billion added to the state’s economy by 2020.
By: By Don Davis and Scott Wente, State Capitol Bureau, Alexandria Echo Press
ST. PAUL – A group of Minnesota legislators says 70,000 Minnesotans could hold clean-energy jobs if lawmakers approve a list of recommendations.
The legislators say 50,000 so-called “green jobs” would be retained and 20,000 added – with $15 billion added to the state’s economy by 2020.
Among the recommendations is to establish a “green enterprise authority” to help new and existing energy businesses.
“The green enterprise authority would be the first of its kind, signaling across the nation Minnesota is open for green business,” said Representative Jeremy Kalin, DFL-North Branch. “The primary purpose of the green enterprise authority would be to provide direct green business assistance to break down barriers in government and grow green jobs today. It is a critical, central component of the Green Jobs Task Force plan that will help replace unemployment checks with paychecks, make Minnesota more energy independent, and restore economic prosperity in our state.”
The task force, which has met for months, is made up of lawmakers, business leaders, state agencies and others. It recommends bills that would put people to work weatherizing public buildings, schools, businesses and homes throughout Minnesota. At least some funding for those jobs could come from federal economic recovery programs.
“A lot of construction workers are sitting on the bench right now, ready to get to work,” said Representative Bob Gunther, R-Fairmont. “Working in collaboration with the federal government, we can maximize Minnesota’s potential for putting thousands of unemployed construction laborers back to work in the next several months – providing government and consumers untold energy savings as well.”