Would Atlantic Wind Energy Create more Jobs than Offshore Oil Drilling?
With the announcement that President Barack Obama wants to open up the Atlantic coastline to offshore oil drilling, the oil industry has insisted such a move will be good for the economy and for job production.
But an environmental group contends in a new report (pdf) that a better job producer near the Eastern seaboard would be wind turbines, which could provide more employment than new drilling platforms.
The ocean conservation organization Oceana says an offshore wind industry could, over the next 20 years, create nearly 91,000 more jobs than offshore drilling, 218,640 vs. 127,682. Turbines also could produce more energy than drilling (143 gigawatts of power), over a period of two decades, which would be enough electricity for 115 million homes.
The biggest winner in terms of new jobs would be North Carolina, which could pick up more than 48,000 from offshore wind (as opposed to 23,000 from drilling). South Carolina could add 33,600 jobs from turbines (instead of only 12,900 from oil). Florida could develop 28,300 more jobs instead of only 3,800 from oil.
Other states benefitting from wind turbine production would be: New Jersey (22,212 vs. 3,476), Massachusetts (22,834 vs. 5,612), New York (15,954 vs. 5,720), Virginia (15,456 vs. 10,295) and Georgia (16,910 vs. 1,944).
To Learn More:
Offshore Energy by the Numbers (by Andrew Menaquale, Oceana)
Dream Come True for Oil Companies: Obama Expected to Approve Drilling off Atlantic Coast from Virginia to Georgia (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)
Largest Area of Federal Waters in U.S. to be auctioned for Offshore Wind Power Projects (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)
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