Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's official, Ohio blows...

It was inevitable...I poke a little fun at the diminutive scale of Ohio's brownfield (re)development, thus eluding to our slackeresque approach to renewable energies, and somebody sends me this:

Ohio development chief predicts area can be solar-energy capital

Ohio's top business booster predicted yesterday that northwest Ohio could one day be known as the solar-energy capital of the Midwest.

At the end of a year that saw more gloomy economic news locally, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who directs the Ohio Department of Development, offered a relatively rosy forecast for the region. "I'm very optimistic about the future of the northwest Ohio economy," he said.

Citing the presence of firms involved in development and production of more cost-efficient solar panels in metro Toledo, plans for a commercial wind farm south of Bowling Green, and construction of ethanol plants elsewhere in the region, Mr. Fisher said northwest Ohio leads the state in alternative energy ventures."
More HERE.
Wow. Who knew that Cleveland was worth more than rock-and-roll and horrible football (I was born and raised a Bengal's fan, so feel free to insert your joke here)? I know that most don't think green when they think of Ohio, but it looks like the sun/wind tides are turning.

Seriously though, I couldn't be happier. If anybody/anywhere is in need of revitalization, it's the Great Lake region. Since 2001 --the end of the most recent recession-- there's been a significant (5%) increase in employment nationwide. While that might be great for the US, the Midwest has seen little (if not damaging) change. It's evident that the 5% productivity is not consistent for each state:

"...Michigan and Ohio have continued to lose jobs. The problem, not surprisingly, is in manufacturing. Michigan and Ohio have lost 159,000 and 136,000 manufacturing jobs, respectively, since November 2001 (see table below). Ohio's losses add up to just under 15% of the state's manufacturing jobs, while Michigan has lost about 20%—or one in five—of such jobs. Only California, a much bigger state, has lost a greater number of manufacturing jobs."


"Michigan and Ohio rank No. 1 and 2 on mortgage finance company Fannie Mae's list of states with the largest credit losses through Sept. 30. Fannie Mae listed losses --loans written off as having no chance of being recovered-- of $185 million for Michigan and $101M for Ohio."


"Michigan...ranked No. 4 in a 2004 U.S. Department of Energy report on new job potential in the wind energy sector. The top spot on the list belonged to California; Ohio was second."

Like I said, who knew? They might be in bad shape, but it looks like they're only going up.

With Congress authorizing $125 million for green job training in the US and the struggling Midwest looking green with potential energy, I can only hope and pray that we jump into the forefront of the sustainable energy movement. Given the fact that green collar jobs transcend the traditional blue and white, consequently affecting all income classes in the public sector, this would be a HUGE boost for our struggling neighbors up north. Companies, manufacturers, individuals and communities could all profit greatly! The sky is (literally) the limit.