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New Jersey is the second most solar-powered state in the union, following California. Take a moment to think about this. New Jersey. Not Florida. Not Texas or Arizona, where sunshine is far more abundant for longer periods of time than in the northeast. This is just one example of how individual state policies impact green jobs and renewable energy as much as–in some cases more than–federal policies.
While proponents of clean energy and green jobs aren’t happy with Mitt Romney’s proposed energy policies, which give minimal attention to renewables, green technology is a train that can’t be stopped. Even if Romney should win the 2012 election (doubtful at this point), and federal support for clean energy all but dried up, many states would still make it a priority.
As elections approach, some states that are currently held by the GOP have a good chance of swinging back to Democrat control. In states like Ohio, where solar and wind are currently gaining a foothold, this could give renewables a much-needed support base. Ohio is considered a developing solar market, despite the fact that it faces strong opposition from local Republicans. Colorado, Arizona, New York and Texas are a few others that could see their solar industries benefit from Democratic elections this year.
Will green jobs in solar skyrocket over the next four years if Democrats win those states? Not necessarily. But they would gain some very solid ground, and prove to doubters among the general population that–whatever Republican politicians and presidential hopefuls say–renewable energy is indeed a viable, affordable, clean choice that benefits communities.
So don’t write off your state elections this year. State policies can make or break a state’s green jobs market and impact on the entire country’s energy footprint.
For assistance with your green jobs search, check out the Career Builder Resource Center at U.S. Green Technology. There you can get help crafting your resume, tailoring your job hunt, and connecting with employers who will share your values and appreciate your skills.
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