Oregon ranked tenth in the country for green job announcements last year, according to the green business group Environmental Entrepreneurs.
Last year, they counted 2,904 Oregon job announcements in those two fields. That put Oregon in the running with Texas (3,426 jobs), Michigan (3,714 jobs) and New York (3,793 jobs).
Other states had far more of these green job announcements: California topped the list with 26,354 jobs in clean energy and transportation. North Carolina was a distant second with 10,867 jobs, followed by Florida with 8,659 jobs.
Now, here’s the rub. The group included jobs that have been announced but not actually created yet. It relied on media reports and public information about new and existing projects and their associated jobs.
For example, in May of last year, E2 added 95 jobs to Oregon’s tally for the Columbia Biogas project in Portland. The company doesn’t plan to break ground on that project until the middle of this year. And as we’ve learned with the SoloPower flexible solar panel production facility, plans can change.
Across the country, E2 projects 110,000 green jobs would be created if the projects they’re tracking come to fruition.
That’s a big “if.”
Especially as many clean energy policies are on the chopping block or at risk of being watered down, as E2 Executive Director Judith Albert noted in a news conference today.
Most of the states that top the green jobs list have renewable energy portfolio standards requiring that a percentage of the state’s electricity comes from renewable sources.
But in Oregon, for example, there is a bill in the Legislature this session that would give renewable credits to more of the existing hydropower in the state. If it passes, there would be less incentive for utilties to invest in new renewable energy projects.