Green job growth may slow with next Congress

Advocates for green jobs say Republican gains in Congress may result in less spending on green construction projects, according to Such projects—including renewable-energy projects and rehabilitation of older buildings to save energy—could be a source of job growth for the economy.

"America needs 30 million jobs," says David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of nine labor unions and four environmental groups. "Our mission ought to be to make those green jobs."

Foster's concerns stem from issues such as the newly elected Gov. Scott Walker's (R-Wis.) plans to halt funding for a high-speed rail project and Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) halting a project to build another train tunnel between New Jersey and New York City.

A Booz Allen Hamilton study conducted for the U.S. Green Building Council estimated that green construction projects created 2.4 million U.S. jobs between 2000 and 2008. It also predicted green building projects will support or create 7.9 million jobs between 2009 and 2013 and will contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product.

Foster says $80 billion from the federal stimulus program was allocated to promote a "green energy economy" and was effective.

"There's a great record of job creation [with green projects]," Foster says. "The problem is you can't do it just once in a little package. These are big, long-term investments."

Date : 11/22/2010