Green Jobs Growing in Red States

Green jobs are growing rapidly in conservative “red” states like Alaska, North Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. And key swing states in this year’s pivotal presidential election, including Nevada, Colorado, and North Carolina, are seeing green job growth as well.

That’s according to a new report released Monday by Nancy Pfund and Michael Lazar of DBL Investors, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that has backed cleantech startups BrightSource Energy, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, eMeter and Soladigm.

“In the ten states where clean tech jobs are growing the most quickly, only two can be considered traditionally Democratic,” says “Red, White & Green: The True Colors of America’s Clean Tech Jobs.” “Many of the remaining states are decisively Republican.”

The report notes that several Republican governors have been extremely supportive of clean tech. Former Governor Haley Barbour has helped make Mississippi a clean tech capital of the South, and several Silicon Valley start-ups have set up manufacturing operations in Olive Branch.

“Clean tech may be seen as a Democratic issue on Capitol Hill but out in the states, it has no political party,” says the report. “The pragmatism of governors—their willingness to do the right thing for their states regardless of current political fashions— may be one reason that pollsters generally find that governors, on the whole, have favorability ratings that are double those of prominent national politicians, and five times the approval afforded to the Congress.”

Dana Hull Dana Hull (251 Posts)

Dana Hull covers clean technology and energy policy for the San Jose Mercury News. She often writes about electric vehicles, the smart grid, the solar industry and California energy policy, from RPS goals to Gov. Jerry Brown's big dreams for distributed generation.