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Clean energy jobs will help revive economy -- Sara Conzemius

Clean energy jobs will help revive economy -- Sara Conzemius

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As millions of Americans file unemployment claims, it is time for lawmakers to look to the clean energy industry to restart our economy.

I founded ILLUME Advising with my partner, Anne Dougherty, to build cleaner, safer and more resilient energy infrastructure. Our business is part of an energy workforce that employed 3.4 million Americans (including 76,000 jobs in Wisconsin) before COVID-19, according to the recent Clean Jobs Midwest report. This includes construction workers who provide weatherization improvements in people's homes, factory workers who manufacture ENERGY STAR appliances, and electricians who upgrade HVAC systems.

Gov. Tony Evers provided a road map for a clean energy economy last year. Clean energy jobs were growing five times faster than overall employment in Wisconsin. But because of COVID-19, the industry needs a lifeline. We need a national clean energy jobs act to put people back to work. The Moving Forward Act recently passed by the U.S. House provides such a framework, but it will likely be met with resistance in the Senate.

Wisconsin must focus on clean energy jobs to meet our state’s climate goals and expand employment opportunities.

Sara Conzemius, Fitchburg

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