In February 2009 Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), also known as the Stimulus Bill. Money has been allocated for a variety of “shovel ready” projects – anything that can get people quickly and gainfully employed. State and local governments, non-profits and even for-profit businesses are trying to find ways to get a piece of the governmental pie full of money.
The Obama administration has been moving swiftly to get the country back on track. But it’s not just about curing financial ails. President Obama appears to favor a more holistic approach. The United States needs to be a good global citizen. We need to protect our planet and the environment by “going green”. President Obama traveled to Copenhagen for the 2009 United Nations Climate Change COP15 Conference to state our country’s case. Earlier in the year, the H.R. 2454 Cap-and-Trade Bill was born. Not only was it born, but it has passed in the House of Representatives. Now the Pelosi enhanced, more politically acceptable American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009 is before the Senate for approval. Many believe and hope that it will pass. So, America will be joining much of the rest of the world in “Going Green”.
Will Going Green Help?
The passage of a Cap-And-Trade type bill would mean we would have to become familiar with such terms as carbon footprints, retrofitting and remediation, carbon offsets, and carbon trading. Both homes and businesses will be impacted. Green certifications, energy audits and weatherization are already being required for federal housing and projects. On the one hand, the enactment of this legislation is estimated to cost $821 billion from 2010 – 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office. On the other hand, it is estimated that this bill would increase federal revenues (a.k.a. taxes) by $846 billion from 2010 to 2019. The revenue increases are not totally good news. Individuals and families are ultimately the ones who pay the increased taxes that businesses would pass on to consumers. But if you think in terms of more people working and thus more people paying taxes, the impact to any single taxpayer may be neutral.
Despite all the stimulus money, the unemployment rate continued to climb in 2009. But, one of the immediate positives of the Cap-and-Trade Bill regulations is a new set of job opportunities. It may not be enough to offset the job losses that may occur from the additional tax burden on businesses. But any new jobs will help. Some people will have to retool and update skills. There is a shortage of people trained to do weatherization. There is a need for more people to not only learn how to do energy audits, but to be re-certified based on current standards. In this U.S. recession, any good news on the job front is encouraging.
Below I’ve identified some of the groups that will benefit.
Building Trades, Engineers
- Home / business energy audits
- LEED certification (green building energy rating)
Accounting, Finance, Auditing, Technology, Lean/Six Sigma/BPR/Environmental Consultants
- Tracking carbon output
- Waste management
- Carbon trading
- Sustainability metrics
- Green ROI
Business / Management/ Supply Chain Consultants, Technical Writers, Business Analysts
- Corporate Sustainability Reports (CSR)
- Green Training
- Sustainability managers
- Green business case
Innovators, Researchers, Technologists, Engineers, Scientists, Lean / Six Sigma/BPR Consultants
- Paper reduction
- Waste reduction
- Increased efficiencies
- Energy Savings
- Carbon reduction projects
- Biodegradable products
- Legal interpretations
- Patents and trademarks
- Economic impact
Adverting / Marketing / PR, Change Management Consultants, Event Planners, Printers, Sign Makers
- Mass education
- Acceptance and adjustment.
- Green Expos