Clean technology nearing edge of fiscal cliff

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New research from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds that if federal investment in clean technology returns to 2009 levels, 2013 job gains would almost equal those from canceling the $54 billion cut to defense spending scheduled for 2013 under the Budget Control Act.

Federal support for clean technology has already been cut back and is scheduled to fall from $47.3 billion in 2009 to $12.9 billion by 2013 -- a drop of almost $35 billion.

Every $1 of green investments supports 1.5 times as many jobs as every $1 in defense spending, subsequently, the drop in clean technology investment in 2013 relative to peak levels would translate into about 436,000 fewer jobs, relative to the roughly 448,000 fewer jobs resulting from the proposed cut in defense spending. Green investments support 1.13 times as many jobs as average spending while defense spending supports 0.74 times as many jobs as average spending, explains Josh Bivens EPI research and policy director.

"As the nation approaches the fiscal cliff, it is critical that we not crash the clean technology bus and sacrifice all the jobs this sector supports," said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance.

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