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American Innovation Report

12:00AM, 21 January 2010
12:00AM, 21 January 2010
Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC
American Innovation Report

In the State of the Union address, President Obama made creating jobs the priority for 2010, calling on our nation to "put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow."

His emphasis was on creating clean energy jobs - "building clean energy facilities" and "manufacturing clean energy products."  To achieve this, he called on our government to pass a bi-partisan, "comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America."

"We need to encourage American innovation," Obama declared.

On January 21st, The Climate Group, in partnership with The University of Michigan, briefed a selected group of Senate staff, business executives and foreign government officials on the findings of their new report, American Innovation: Manufacturing Low Carbon Technologies in the Midwest.  The report demonstrates that there is indeed potential to create these new, clean energy jobs - not just on the coasts, but in our manufacturing base in the Midwest. 

It estimates that climate and energy policies could create over 100,000 new jobs in the Midwest by 2015, from the manufacture of wind turbine components, hybrid powertrains, and advanced batteries alone.

At this time, when there is a clear need to create jobs and address climate change in the United States and the world, we hope this report can help shed some light on the economic opportunities associated with taking action.

Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin said: "Good government policy like renewable portfolio standards, which we passed in 2005, are creating family-supporting jobs in our state. This report shows in detail the enormous opportunity that Wisconsin -- and the rest of the Midwest -- stands to gain by taking the next step. We can stick our heads in the sand and let others seize that opportunity, or we can push forward and create jobs, grow our manufacturing base and leave a better world for our children and grandchildren."

Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois said: "The climate and our economy need help urgently. This timely report documents the huge boost we can give our economy if we adopt strategies to accelerate investment in the low-carbon technologies that will rejuvenate the industrial Midwest, put our people back to work and ensure the Midwest remains globally competitive."

William L. Thomas, Counsel, Environmental and Climate Change Practices at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP said: "With debate over the implications of prospective climate change regulation hotter than ever in the U.S., American Innovation: Manufacturing Low Carbon Technologies in the Midwest offers timely insight into some of the ways well-crafted policy responses can spur greentech innovation and generate economic opportunity."

Jeannie Renne-Malone, National Director, Climate Change & GHG Management Services, HDR Engineering said: "American Innovation clearly demonstrates how climate and energy policies can result in the necessary revitalization of the US Midwestern manufacturing industry, as well as contribute to numerous other benefits including increased demand for local products and services, job-growth, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and will allow the US to be competitive on a global scale as we transition to a low-carbon economy."

Mike Granoff, Head of Oil Independence, Better Place said: 20th century innovations gave America a standard of living unimaginable a century before.  In this new century, the industries that will thrive are those that are able to make that standard of living sustainable by using renewable resources, and ones that do not contaminate our air, water and threaten our climate.  As demand shifts from oil-burning cars to ones powered by renewably-generated electricity, the American Midwest can develop the components for that supply chain, the turbines to capture the wind electricity for those cars, and the batteries to store that electricity.  The findings in this report show that this kind of Midwest leadership is indeed possible.  Just as the region thrived in the 20th century, with a proper adjustment to orient in line with global trends, it will thrive again in this century.

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