News / Economy

'Green' US Jobs Starting to Pay Off

US President Barack Obama takes questions during a town hall discussion about clean energy while visiting Gamesa Technology Corporation in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, April 6, 2011
US President Barack Obama takes questions during a town hall discussion about clean energy while visiting Gamesa Technology Corporation in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, April 6, 2011

A new look at the impact of so-called "green" [environmently-friendly] technology shows it is beginning to pay off for at least some U.S. workers.

Across the United States, businesses and organizations are starting to make a change, shifting to cleaner sources of energy. One such place is the world reknowned Mayo Clinic in the northern state of Minnesota.

"It's becoming affordable to be green," said to Dr. John Black. He is on the Mayo Clinic's Green Committee and said the math is simple.

"For us to be relevant we need to be affordable, and the greening of the Mayo Clinic should provide us with an opportunity save money," said Black.

A report released Wednesday by the Washington-based Brookings Institution says the desire to go with cleaner energy options also is paying off. It says the so-called "clean economy" now employs 2.7 million Americans, pays higher wages and requires little formal education.

Mark Muro, director at Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, said, "As a whole it is growing moderately fast, but segments of it are growing extremely fast."

And Muro said the U.S. is well positioned to take take full advantage.

"The growth that we're seeing in some of these renewable and clean tech segments is so compelling, and is projected to grow so fast globally, that it is imperative that the United States begin to foster these industries," said Muro.

But Ken Green, an environmental scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said the growth of clean-energy jobs may not be enough to boost the struggling economy.

Green said even with more funding and support from the government, clean energy ventures, like wind farms, will face obstacles.

"Many of the jobs involved have been created in China and Asia because at the end of the day, they still have low labor costs," said Green. "They have lower environmental regulations of their own that they have to deal with."

Still, U.S. President Barack Obama has promised to push for more funding, saying America needs to lead on clean energy technology in order to forge what he calls "another American century."


Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.