A new study produced by the University of Massachusetts's Political Economy Research Institute and sponsored by the Center for American Progress makes a strong case for billions in federal spending to create new jobs to save the economy and the planet. By employing blue-collar workers in some of the hardest-hit segments of the economy, a focused, short-term effort to make buildings and infrastructure more energy-efficient would significantly reduce the unemployment rate and move the United States closer to energy independence, the study's authors claim. "This would be an effort to rebuild the energy infrastructure of our whole economy," says Robert Pollin, co-director of institute and an author of the study. Called "Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy," the study proposes $100bn in government spending over two years in six key areas: retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency; expanding mass transit and freight rail; constructing "smart" electrical grid systems to better manage power demands; increasing the use of solar power; increasing the use of wind power; and developing next-generation biofuels.
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