Las Vegas Sun

January 29, 2015

Currently: 63° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Report: Going green could reap 15,000 new jobs for Nevada

A new report from the Center for American Progress says $100 billion in green investment could create 2 million jobs in the U.S., including 15,000 in Nevada.

"In a time when people are hurting, 15,000 jobs seems like a good idea," said Scot Rutledge of the Nevada Conservation League.

The $100 billion "green economic recovery program" - about the size of the recent federal stimulus package - could be paid for by auctioning the right to emit the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, according to the center.

The report says $865 million of that $100 billion would be invested in Nevada. That figure is based on contribution to gross domestic product and population. When natural renewable energy resources and existing favorable state policy toward renewables are factored in, environmentalist said, the investment here is likely to be much higher.

Union leaders, environmentalists and business representatives touted the plan under the shade of solar panels at the Springs Preserve on Tuesday.

Lydia Ball, a regional representative of the Sierra Club, said she's often asked whether the economy or the environment takes precedence.

"It's both," she said. "We need to put Americans back to work and we need to address climate change, and we can do both."

Robert Buntjer, assistant director of an apprenticeship program for electrical workers unions in Las Vegas, called the predicted $865 million in investment in all things green in Nevada the "huge shot in the arm we need... for the Nevada construction economy."

The unions have had a training program for solar photo voltaic installers in Las Vegas since 2003. Their training facility already has solar panels installed for trainees to practice on, and will soon have a wind turbine thanks to a variance from the city, Buntjer said.

Les Lazareck, owners of Home Energy Connections, said the largest part of the $865 million investment in Nevada would go to conservation efforts.

Lazareck said improving insulation in homes could reduce the energy use by Nevada's 700,000 homes by 30 percent.

The report calls for $346 million to be invested in energy efficiency in Nevada. Another $173 million would go to mass transit and freight rail improvements, $87 million to electrical grid improvements and $260 million to advancement of wind, solar and advanced biofuels technology.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.