West Coast Governors Predict Massive Uptick In "Clean Economy" Jobs

Mar 14, 2012

The west coast is poised for a dramatic uptick in so-called "clean economy" jobs. That's the prediction issued Wednesday by the leaders of Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia. But as Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, it's not clear if the region can actually pull it off.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire joined with the leaders of California and British Columbia to make this prediction: In eight years, the region's clean economy sector can triple if it has the proper tools to succeed. That could mean a million new jobs related to everything from renewable energy to alternative fuel vehicles. But University of Oregon economist Tim Duy has this caveat:

Tim Duy: "We have to be cautious when we make these predictions about net new jobs. Some of these jobs are likely to be essentially replacing another job."

For instance, say a construction worker helps to build an energy efficient office complex. That’s not a net gain if that same worker would have had a job at a conventional building across town. Meanwhile a report issued last week by the Oregon Employment Department shows that the state's employers are forecasting a net loss of green jobs in the short term.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

On the web:
West Coast Action Plan On Jobs: http://www.pacificcoastcollaborative.org/Pages/ThirdAnnualLeadersForum.aspx
Oregon "Green Jobs" forecast: http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/ArticleReader?itemid=00008074#seg0007