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The Final Word by Chuck Swann
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Amid the present distress of pulp and paper industry job losses due to mill and machine closures, there have arisen predictions of lots of new jobs in the future. These jobs will be created as US energy industries find new ways to abide by the Clean Air Act and still light up the land and run machines.

Rosy predictions for the future offer scant comfort to those who are presently standing in unemployment lines. But according to a study quoted by InsideClimate News, switching heavily to wind, solar and other sources for generating electricity could create an additional 1 million new jobs by 2030 and 2 million by 2050.

A report from consulting firm ICF International, in Fairfax, Virginia, says that a large-scale shift to renewable sources for generating electricity could add millions to national employment figures even after accounting for job losses related to fossil fuels. ICF's findings tend to undermine one of the main objections to cracking down on carbon pollution: that it would cost too many jobs to move away from burning fossil fuels.

ICF partners with government, commercial, and not-for-profit clients to deliver professional services and technology. ICF works across the following markets: energy, environment, and infrastructure; health, social programs, and consumer/financial; and public safety and defense. It employs more than 5,000 people in more than 70 offices worldwide. Its report on jobs echoes other studies finding that there would be many more jobs created from a clean energy transformation than would be lost.

A majority of the new jobs would be in the construction, utility and transportation industries. The electric utility industry would see the largest increase because a shift to cleaner energy sources will mean an increased reliance on the electric transmission grid.

Chuck Swann is the senior editor of Paperitalo Publications. He can be reached by email at chuck.swann@taii.com.
 

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