Environmental Protection

Minn. Governor Unveils Green Jobs Initiative

Gov. Tim Pawlenty unveiled his "Green Jobs Investment Initiative," in which he will ask the state legislature to approve incentives for companies that bring green jobs to Minnesota. The potential for job growth in green jobs is significant, the governor's office stated. According to a study released last month, 750,000 Americans work in what are considered green jobs. That number is expected to grow 4.2 million by 2038, accounting for 10 percent of new job growth over the next 30 years.

"The development of green jobs will be one of the biggest changes in our economy since the industrial revolution," Pawlenty said. "The proposals we are announcing today will fuel job growth by incentivizing new technology and innovation."

• New tax-free incentives through a "Green JOBZ" program that will provide the same tax exemptions found in the state’s JOBZ program to qualifying green job projects.

• A new Job Growth Investment Tax Credit, 50 percent of which will be targeted to green job projects that will promote the state’s renewable energy goals ($20 million).

• A new Small Business Investment Tax Credit for investments in qualified Minnesota businesses, 50 percent of which will be targeted to green job projects ($60 million).

• Incentives to expand the production and infrastructure for biomethane, solar and other renewable energy projects.

• Creation of a clean and green technology category as part of the Minnesota Cup competition to reward innovation and spark invention.

• Tracking energy usage by state government and holding government accountable for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

The study showing strong potential for green job growth was prepared by Global Insight for the U.S. Conference of Mayors. It noted that "the vast majority of Green Jobs are not location dependent, so future Green Jobs will be located in cities or metropolitan areas that are currently the most attractive for investment, or in areas that actively increase their attractiveness relative to competing areas."

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