From: Dale Dempsey, Dayton Daily News, Ohio
Published October 13, 2004 12:00 AM

Using Cleaner Energy Would Add 65,000 New Jobs in Ohio, Report Claims

Oct. 13—DAYTON, Ohio — The Steelworkers of America and the environmental group the Sierra Club jointly released a study Wednesday that claims using cleaner energy will not only make a better environment, but create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil as well.

"We think some of the jobs will come into our industry, but overall it will make us redo our operations and make us more competitive," said Bill Hocevar of the steelworkers union.

The report, titled Smarter, Cleaner, Stronger: Secure Jobs, Clean Environment and Less Foreign Oil, said that the U.S. could create 1.4 million new jobs, save consumers $170 billion a year in lower energy costs and reduce imported fuel by 1.7 billion barrels a year by 2025 by developing cleaner technologies.

The plan could also cut emissions of carbon, the main greenhouse gas pollutant, in half in 20 years, the study said.

"This study destroys the myth that using cleaner energy causes losses of jobs," said Dave Hamilton of the Sierra Club.

"We would like people to look at the numbers, because this direction is in competition to the traditional energy industry."

Ohio would gain 65,000 new jobs in the manufacturing and service sectors, according to the study, and see an average household savings on energy bills of $1,300 per year.

"There are as many solutions to energy waste as we have energy uses in this country," said Hocevar.

"The technology will emerge in areas like fuel cells or more efficient lighting."

Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association, said the study's goals were unrealistic.

"The report released (Wednesday) is just another reflection of the extremes that environmentalists will go to prevent Ohioans from having access to affordable, reliable energy," Carey said. "The suggestion that we can use intermittent power sources like solar and wind power to supply the rapidly increasing demands of Ohioans for electricity is far-fetched at best."

The report was prepared by Redefining Progress, an Oakland-based research firm on sustainable energy.

© 2004, Dayton Daily News, Ohio. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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