A new report released by The Natural Resources Defense Council [NRDC] may impact positively the spike in the U.S. unemployment rate, currently registering 6.1%. The report shows the U.S. can create two million jobs by investing in a rapid green economic recovery program, which will decrease energy dependence, strengthen the U.S. economy over the next two years, and improve the prospects of sustainable economic prosperity.
The report, titled “Green Recovery” – prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute [PERI], under commission by the Center for American Progress [CAP], outlines a two-year $100 billion green investment program, spending it on six energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies: energy efficiency, expanding mass transit and freight rail, constructing “smart” electrical grid transmission systems, wind power, solar power and next-generation biofuels.
The green program has as its focal point the immediate need to boost our struggling economy by accelerating the adoption of a comprehensive clean-energy agenda through a $100 billion investment that would combine tax credits and loan guarantees for private businesses with direct public-investment spending. With sufficiently generous and stable federal tax incentives and credit subsidies, significant new private-sector investment would flow naturally and quickly into the renewable energy arenas.
The short-term green economic recovery package, if fully implemented, would reduce the number of unemployed people to 6.8 million, down from 8.8 million, with the unemployment rate falling to 4.4% from 5.7% – calculated within the framework of U.S. labor market conditions in July 2008. The report also shows that the vast majority of the two million jobs would be in the same areas of employment that people already work in today, in every region and state of the country.
Other report findings indicate that the program will also triple the number of good jobs, paying at least $16 dollars per hour.
The green recovery report proposes the following for initial investments:
– $50 billion for tax credits. This would assist private businesses and homeowners in financing commercial and residential building retrofits, as well as investments in renewable-energy systems.
– $46 billion in direct government spending. This would support public building retrofits, the expansion of mass transit, freight rail and smart electrical-grid systems, and new investments in renewable energy.
– $4 billion for federal loan guarantees. This would underwrite private credit that is extended to finance building retrofits and investments in renewable energy.
This $100 billion initiative is part of a comprehensive low-carbon energy strategy and could be paid for with proceeds from auctions of carbon permits under a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.
The $100 billion fiscal expansion, according to NRDC – is comparable to the size of the April 2008 Federal stimulus package dedicated to consumer rebates.