The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. announced this week that former Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm will serve as a senior advisor in their efforts to promote clean energy policies that create jobs, stimulate innovation, spur investment and enhance America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy race.

As part of the effort, Granholm and Pew staff will meet with clean energy entrepreneurs around the country.

Granholm will travel the country to demonstrate the economic opportunities of advancing policies that make cars cleaner, industry more efficient and renewable energy more accessible and affordable.

“Gov. Granholm has a demonstrated track record in growing the clean energy economy in the U.S.,” said Joshua Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environment Group. “During her eight years as governor of Michigan, she pioneered some of the most compelling clean energy policies in the nation, working with business and labor, Republicans and Democrats, to create new economic opportunities for the state. Her leadership attracted more than 89,000 jobs and $9.4 billion in clean energy investments to Michigan.”

Added Granholm: “In the last decade, our nation saw hundreds of thousands of jobs disappear as a result of factories closing their doors due to globalization. America’s best hope for creating jobs is to grow the clean energy sector, which has seen international investment grow by leaps and bounds. I look forward to working with Pew to make the case among our nation’s policy leaders that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that can put American men and women back to work again.”

Gov. Granholm, together with Pew staff, will meet with clean energy start-ups, research facilities, entrepreneurs, manufacturing plants, elected officials and community partners around the country to discuss possibilities for job creation, manufacturing and exports. They will explore the role policy can play in increasing demand and spurring investment in the sector, which is marked by rapid growth and fierce international competition. 

The first stop in April will be Arkansas, where clean energy jobs grew by nearly 8 percent from 1998 to 2007, and the state attracted close to $23 million in venture capital funds, according to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts. More than 28.3 percent of Arkansas’ activity is in environmentally friendly production, ranking it 10th in the nation — the fastest growing sector of the national clean energy economy. Other stops will include Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, among others.

The Pew Clean Energy Program seeks to accelerate the clean energy economy for national security, economic and environmental benefits.
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