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Green Tech States Are Not Necessarily Democratic

According to a new report by DBL Investors, a surprising number of clean technology projects are springing up in politically "red" states. The report, entitled "Red, White and Green: The Truest Colors of America's Clean Tech Jobs," is authored by Nancy Pfund and Michael Lazar and was released at SPI this week.

Most people would expect blue Democratic states to be eager to embrace clean tech and green jobs, the authors assert, with red Republican states resolutely declining to join in the action. However, according to the report, in the 10 states where clean tech jobs are growing the most quickly, only two can be considered traditionally Democratic – Hawaii and New York. Many of the remaining states are decisively Republican, including North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Alaska. Additionally, among Top 10 states where green jobs make up the biggest percentage of the labor force, only three – Washington, Oregon and Vermont – are Democratic.

“What’s more, many of the governors working the hardest to bring clean tech jobs to their home states are not only Republican, but are usually regarded as leaders of their party,” according to the report. This demonstrates that clean tech and green jobs are only contentious inside Washington D.C., the authors conclude. “Outside of the capital, where governors (and mayors) are more concerned with creating jobs than scoring debate points, there is no controversy about the impact of clean tech.” 

“(Clean tech) is almost universally appreciated as the important engine for job development and economic growth that it is,” the authors say. “Disregarding the partisan bickering in Washington, these local officials are using clean tech to bring high-quality jobs to their states, in the process reviving communities and winning the support of local voters in both parties.”

Zooming out even further, the report reveals that seven of the top 17 states with the most rapid growth in the clean tech sector are considered swing states for the 2012 presidential election. “Numbers like these suggest we are entering an era in which politicians who unfairly criticize or otherwise ignore clean tech run the risk of alienating a bedrock constituency: job holders, most of whom vote,” the authors say.

A copy of the report is available here.

Lead image: Divided flag via Shutterstock

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