Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Mexico Ahead in the Green Game--Albuquerque Journal

By Julia Haggerty
Headwaters Economics
June 27 2010

New Mexico's combined strategy of targeted public policy, strong leadership, and support for business has made it a regional and national clean energy leader, increasing its green jobs faster than other Rocky Mountain States.

Headwaters Economics recently completed a report — Clean Energy Leadership in the Rockies: Competitive Positioning in the Emerging Green Economy — that compares how New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming are taking advantage of clean energy opportunities and five keys for future growth.

The states with the best early results and strongest competitive position are those able to capture new energy opportunities — not only power generation facilities and manufacturing jobs, but investment and employment in the myriad technologies, products and services related to a growing worldwide demand for clean energy, conservation and energy efficiency.

New Mexico's success shows the importance of both policy and political guidance at all levels of government, from county commissioner to U.S. senator. The state's aggressive outreach program, backed by strong incentives — including property tax breaks, bonding, and worker training — has attracted new jobs and investment to the state.

New Mexico leads the region in growing green jobs. The state's green employment grew by 62 percent from 1995 to 2007, compared to a 13 percent rate for its overall employment. Looking at the five-state region during the same time, green jobs grew by 30 percent while overall jobs increased by 19 percent. Nationally, green jobs grew by 18 percent and overall employment was up 10 percent...continued.....