Friday, September 9, 2011

Using Unemployment as an Excuse

The American Petroleum Institute recently put out a report pushing for increased domestic drilling and the use of tar sands.  According to them these policies will "deliver 1.4 million new jobs, boost tax rolls by $800 billion, and increase domestic energy production almost 50 percent."  But according to Think Progress "[f]ishing jobs could be put a risk by drilling. The API Report cites a possible creation of 100,000 drilling jobs in Florida as part of its broader suite of job creation numbers. Yet Floridians have consistently opposed opening new areas to drilling because of the impact it would have on tourism. A 2006 report from the National Ocean Economics Program cites 361,000 Tourism & Recreation jobs in Florida (261,000 direct, and 100,000 indirect and induced), plus about 9,000 commercial fishing jobs, all of which would be put at risk by drilling.  Tourism, recreation, and fishing contributed $18.9 billion to Florida’s GDP in 2005. Other reports have pegged Florida’s tourism industry as supporting more than a million jobs."

Imagine the amount of jobs that could be saved by instead going green.  The installing and developing of solar panels and wind turbines in American homes and private businesses all over the U.S. would not only decrease pollution and decrease our dependence on the "foreign" oil many politicians rail against but it would create many American jobs and save families large sums of money.  One Block Off the Grid has a great infographic detailing the amount of jobs that could be created by just going solar alone.

We need jobs, but we can't continue to destroy our environment in the process.

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