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U.S. tour touts green energy jobs

U.S. tour touts green energy jobs(By Paula Schleis via Ohio.com)A national transition to a ''clean energy economy'' will keep American

manufacturers busy and put millions of people to work. Oh, and help the

planet, too.That's the message that the Blue Green Alliance, a coalition of labor

unions and environmental organizations, is taking on the road with its

''Made in America Jobs Tour,'' launching in Cleveland today.The educational tour, filled with rallies and technology demonstrations,

will make 50 stops in 22 states between now and the end of September.''American workers and their families need jobs, and a clean energy economy

is a sure-fire way to put our country back to work and on a path toward

long-term economic prosperity,'' Maggie Fox, president of the Alliance for

Climate Protection, said in a media conference call Wednesday.Northeast Ohio was an appropriate starting point, organizers said, because

the modern wind turbine was engineered at the nearby NASA facility, and

because Ohio's depressed economy represents what's at stake.The Blue Green Alliance believes if the U.S. instituted a national

renewable energy standard, more than 850,000 manufacturing jobs at firms

already in existence across the 50 states could be created in making parts

for wind, solar, geothermal and biomass power industries.A Center for American Progress report also found that investing $150

billion a year in America's clean energy economy could create 1.7 million

jobs, which could include retrofitting and constructing new energy

efficient buildings and manufacturing next-generation, plug-in hybrid and

electric cars.Lee Geisse, a steelworker from Canton, said she will be at today's rally to

represent clean economy workers.She works at Allegheny Ludlum in Louisville, a plant that produces

titanium, a specialty steel that has found use in new equipment making safe

drinking water for third-world countries.''We have the opportunity to create 60,000 jobs in Ohio by investing in a

clean energy economy,'' Geisse said.Leo Gerard, international president for the United Steelworkers, said in

addition to production jobs, such an economy would increase demand for

everything from truck drivers to electricians.Wind turbines have 8,000 components that have to be made by someone, he

said.''The key is to make sure those jobs are using products made in America and

we put American manufacturing back on its feet,'' Gerard said.Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. was held up as an example of how green

conversion can save and create jobs.FirstEnergy intends to repower one of its coal-burning plants with

briquettes of wood chips, cornstalks, switch grass and grains.The plan to rely on renewable energy at the R.E. Burger Power Plant in

Belmont County, which was scheduled to close, will cost $200 million, power

190,000 homes, save more than 100 jobs and create a couple of hundred jobs

during the conversion process.''So you can see as we transition, there are lots of creative things that

can be done and they can't be done offshore,'' said Michael Langford,

national president of the Utility Workers Union of America.Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU),

said America took hundreds of years to go through its agricultural and

industrial revolutions, but this latest revolution will only take 30 years.For the latest green jobs in renewable energy please click here