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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2008

Green energy equals jobs, alliance says in Findlay stop

BLADE STAFF

FINDLAY - Green equals green.

That is the message of a road show led by environmental and labor groups that was in Findlay yesterday.

Policies supporting renewable energy production will create tens of thousands of clean-energy jobs that will add green to the pockets of U.S. manufacturing workers fearful about the future, David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance, asserted in a telephone interview from his office in Minneapolis.

"We want to point out how strategies and policies that solve global warming will create tens of thousands of new jobs," he said.

The alliance was formed by the United Steelworkers and Sierra Club. It has teamed up with Al Gore's "We" campaign to deliver a similar message at a series of town hall meetings over the summer.

The group was to be at the union hall of United Steel Workers Local 207L at 1130 Summit St. in Findlay. Other Ohio stops are scheduled for today in Canton and tomorrow in Cleveland.

A study has found that more than 20,000 manufacturing jobs could be created in Ohio at plants serving the solar, wind, and geothermal energy industries as well as at plants making products like insulation and more energy-efficient appliances, Mr. Foster said.

One way to accomplish that, he said, is through government mandates - like one signed into law by Gov. Ted Strickland last month - requiring utilities to find at least 25 percent of their energy from advanced technology and renewable resources by 2025.

A similar law in Pennsylvania helped persuade a company in Spain to construct four plants in the state, employing 1,400 people, for production of wind-turbine equipment, Mr. Foster said.



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