South Carolina green businesses are urging Congress to pass pending federal energy legislation, which they say impacts on employment opportunities in the state.In June, the US House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, also known as “Cap and Trade” legislation. A coalition of SouthCarolina green businesses say that there is much potential for new clean energy jobs under the legislation.
Steve Moore, Director of Climate and Energy of the SC Wildlife Federation is part of an alliance of conservation organizations. He says “We’re now waiting for the Senate to act. And the environment and public works committee is the lead committee with jurisdiction over the bill. They’re set to release their version of the bill–their draft version of the bill–on September 8 when they get back off of recess. But there also about five committees in the Senate that will also weigh in on the bill before the bill reaches the full Senate.”
American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 must be passed by both the House and Senate and then be signed by the President before it becomes law.
The diverse coalition, calling for clean energy jobs, less pollution and a more secure America, includes South Carolina based companies: Agri-Tech Producers , SKY Energy and Argand Energy. Climate and Energy Director for the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, John Ramsburgh says current respected studies support the idea of current and potential clean energy jobs in South Carolina.
“The studies that have come out recently by Pew Environmental Trust and others are suggesting tremendous employment opportunities, and not just because of the renewable resources that we have, but also because we have the infrastructure, the labor force, a proud tradition in textile manufacturing to bring these resources to the market in a cost effective way,” says Ramsburgh.
According to Ramsburg, South Carolina’s renewable energy sector grew 36 percent over the past decade placing the state ninth nationally.
(compiled by SCRN’s Susan Trautsch)