Many of the nation’s environmental and economic problems could be eased with increased support for alternative energy. That was the message at the national “Good Jobs, Green Jobs” conference today in Cleveland.
Many conference participants cited the $40 million federal grant for an experimental wind farm off the coast of Cleveland in Lake Erie as an opportunity to turn Northeast Ohio into an alternative-energy hub. And they also called for a national renewable energy policy to drive more job creation.
Michael Langford is president of the Utility Workers Union of America. He says an increased focus on renewable energy would help utility workers displaced by less coal use.
“You see the lakeshore plants here in Cleveland have shut down. And those communities are impacted hugely over that. So we need to look at ways to bring industry such as renewable-type energies into those communities, but also (for) ways to bridge those workers who were working in those facilities.”
Langford blames many of the lost coal jobs on cheap natural gas.