Demand for wind turbine parts made of steel has 220 workers at Gary, Indiana's ArcelorMittal steel plant busy, reports the Gary Post-Tribune. Could years of negative job growth in Gary, Indiana be a thing of the past? Maybe, if current trends continue.
The recently passed extension of the renewable energy tax credits, which was bundled into the financial bailout bill, extended $18 billion + in tax credits for a wide variety renewable energy installations, from building and operating power plant, to giant wind turbines such as those pictured here, to small residential wind turbines and solar panels.
"The generation of renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide. In the United States, it's growing more than anywhere worldwide," said David Foster, executive director of the Blue-Green Alliance, a collaboration between the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club. "Steel is an absolutely integral material for the transition to a low-carbon economy." --Gary Post-Tribune, 10/01/08
The partnership between the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club (did you ever imagine these two groups would unite behind a common cause?) means to accelerate green job growth in NW Indiana. The coalition wants to make it clear that "the choice between jobs and the environment is a phony choice...We can have both," says Jim Robinson, Director of USW District 7.
Gary is well-placed to take advantage of the booming demand for wind turbine parts. It is well-located, with a huge rail and road transportation hub nearby, and vast amounts of Great Lakes water. In spite of the financial mess that we've lived through in the past few months, which is far from over, is at least the hope that we can begin transitioning to non-carbon-based forms of energy.