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Clean energy will create jobs

"Clean energy will create jobs(John Hamilton via The Detroit News)American ingenuity is second to none. Pair that with the world-class work
force that we have in Michigan, and you're talking about an unstoppable
alliance between business and labor that can help make Michigan a leader in
the 21st century. That's why I take issue with naysayers who claim moving
toward clean energy won't create jobs.Renewable energy in all its forms -- from the solar industry to wind farms
and biomass to hydro -- is one of the fastest growing sectors of the
economy, both here in Michigan and globally, expanding by 25 to 30 percent
each year.Wind, solar, biomass, hydropower and other new renewable energy
technologies are a key pillar of Michigan's energy future. Michigan ranks
14th in the nation in terms of wind resources, and we must move to
capitalize on the opportunities that presents.The rapidly growing renewable energy industry is expanding and producing
jobs. International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 is working with
businesses in the emerging renewable energy sector to train the workers
needed to build Michigan's 21st-century energy infrastructure and create
local green jobs.Michigan is home to global leaders in the solar energy industry. As the
Great Lakes State, Michigan already uses hydropower to generate renewable
energy in many locations. And with a $60-billion-a-year agriculture
industry that is ranked second nationally, Michigan is uniquely positioned
to create new jobs and become a leader in the bio-based energy sector.Think about this: Michigan spends nearly $3 billion every year importing
fossil fuels for electricity. Michigan gets 60 percent of its electricity
from coal, all of which is imported. Michigan also imports all our uranium
used to produce electricity, and 70 percent of our natural gas. We can and
should be producing our own energy.Michigan's geography and location make us one of the best places in the
nation to capture the wind and harness it into renewable energy. Clearing
the way for a healthy mix of solar, wind, biomass, clean coal, nuclear and
other forms of cutting-edge energy technologies by encouraging investment
and speeding up approval processes will help reduce our dependence on
imported and foreign fuels while taking control of our own energy needs.The best part is that it will take a skilled workforce to build Michigan's
21st-century energy infrastructure. We've got that covered. Our state's
proud manufacturing background means Michigan is ready to build the best
wind turbines, solar panels and bio-processing facilities in the world.Michigan's highly trained manufacturing and construction workforce --
combined with world-class research facilities and universities -- gives our
state all the ingredients it needs to be a true energy leader.Renewable energy has moved from a good idea to good business that will
create jobs for Michigan workers.John Hamilton is business manager and general vice president for
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 in Bloomfield Township.For the latest renewables jobs across The U.S. and globally please click
here"