On the eve of Mitt Romney’s campaign stop in Ohio, a new report from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute finds that the Buckeye State is home to 25,000 jobs in “22 advanced energy industry segments.”
Though Romney has repeatedly claimed that green jobs are “illusory,” the AEE report finds there are more advanced energy jobs in Ohio than the agriculture and mining industries combined:
“In Ohio, with its productive manufacturing base, robust infrastructure and transportation system, low cost of doing business, and excellent educational system, the advanced energy industry has established a strong foothold and has great capacity to grow.”
The jobs identified in the report are spread among 410 companies that work in “renewable energy, energy efficiency or high-tech manufacturing.” More than 7,000 of the jobs are in building materials, more than 4,000 are in heating, cooling and ventilation, and about 1,400 are in nuclear energy.
According to a recent report the Brookings Institution, green jobs in Ohio pay an average of $3,500 more than typical blue collar jobs. That report, which used a broader definition of the clean economy, also found that Ohio has over 105,000 jobs in the sector.
Ignoring the gains made in the clean economy — a sector that now employs more than 3 million Americans nationwide — Romney recently debuted a television ad attacking the industry. Ironically, there are 64,000 jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries in Romney’s home state of Massachusetts.
House Speaker John Boehner, who represents the state of Ohio, also seems to be ignoring — if not outright rejecting — the growth in this sector. Under Boehner’s leadership, the Republican-lead House has failed to extend the wind production tax credit (PTC), creating uncertainty in the wind market and leading to the abandonment of a $20 million wind project in Ohio that would have created as many as 200 new jobs. There are currently 6,000 wind jobs in Ohio — a large number of which could be threatened if the PTC isn’t extended.
Boehner has also railed against the 1603 grant program as a “Solyndra-style stimulus program.” That program, which helped tens of thousands of renewable energy projects get developed while also creating or saving up to 75,000 jobs, allowed the industry to post solid growth during the depths of the economic slowdown.
Boehner and Romney continue to ignore the tens of thousands of green jobs in their home states in order to satisfy their false narrative that clean energy doesn’t work.
– Max Frankel