Part 2: What Makes Our Economy Grow

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(Mayor Michael Nutter, far right with folder, reviews his prepared remarks for the unveiling of a newly weatherized home in Philadelphia.  Credit: Pat Loeb)

(Mayor Michael Nutter, far right with folder, reviews his prepared remarks for the unveiling of a newly weatherized home in Philadelphia. Credit: Pat Loeb)

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Regional Affairs Council - September 2011

KYW Regional Affairs Council

“Growing A Green Economy”

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Measures to cut energy use and reduce carbon emissions are good for the environment, but there is growing evidence that they’re also good for the economy.

And now, Delaware Valley officials are working to make the region a leader in the green economy.

“Philadelphia is fast becoming known as one of the great participants in the green economy,” says mayor Michael Nutter,  who has been preaching the green gospel for almost four years.

And a new study from the Brookings Institution shows it’s paying off:  the Philadelphia region ranked fifth in clean jobs — ahead of Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland, Ore.

krueger braneky leanne side loeb Part 2:  What Makes Our Economy Grow

(Leanne Krueger-Braneky of the Sustainable Business Network. Credit: Pat Loeb)

“And that’s pretty amazing when you think about the fact that wind and solar haven’t been as popular here as they have been on the west coast,” notes Leanne Krueger-Braneky (right), who heads the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia.  She attributes the rapid growth in green jobs to a sustained, concerted effort by governments, at all levels, the business community, and labor, all working together.

She says the effort put the region in a good position when the federal stimulus bill came along.

“And so, as a result of that, Philadelphia got more green job training dollars than any other city in the country,” Krueger-Braneky notes.

The next challenge is to make sure those workers stay employed and, again, a cooperative effort is underway.

grajewski katherine side loeb Part 2:  What Makes Our Economy Grow

(Katherine Grajewski of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, in Philadelphia. Credit: Pat Loeb)

Katherine Grajewski, of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (right), says a project called “Energyworks” is designed to encourage more people to weatherize.

“The five counties in this region came together to establish a revolving loan fund.  It’s a 25-million-dollar fund that makes low interest loans to both small businesses and homeowners so that they can, at a very low cost, make energy efficiency improvements,” she says.

Grajewski points out this project will mean green jobs and a cleaner environment — a classic win-win.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

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