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A 2011 report indicates that renewable energy has created more than 2.7 million green jobs in the U.S., far outstripping the number of fossil fuel jobs. Considering the relative newness of the green energy industry compared with the years of established operation fossil fuels have, that’s an astounding feat. Yet, despite Obama’s green policies, government subsidies and support for clean energy lag far behind fossil fuels.
Most federal tax credits for fuel sources that create greenhouse gases are permanent provisions, meaning they recur annually. Renewable sources don’t enjoy this stability. Most of their subsidies have expiration dates.
Many people holding green jobs believe their industries should receive equal treatment to fossil fuels. Joel Cannon, the CEO of TenKsolar in the Twin Cities, is among them. “The solar business is actually booming,” Cannon told the Minnesota Star Tribune in a recent interview. “The cost of delivering a Kilowatt hour from solar is below the cost . . . paid by many people in the world today, and that means solar is here to stay. If we simply acknowledge that . . . and say, ‘Let’s put some rational policies in place that treat various forms of energy on an equal basis,’ then we will bring solar to the 20 to 30 percent level that it deserves.”
While recent polls reveal that the American population in general considers green jobs and environmental issues to be important regardless of their party, the same can’t be said of Congress. “It’s unfortunate that . . . energy supply seems to be a partisan issue,” said Cannon.
Given the data on the growth of green jobs and expanding clean energy market, Cannon says Republican claims that green energy kills jobs are “absolutely, flat-out wrong.”
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