08/14/2009 - When Democrats from across the Mountain States gathered here Thursday for a Project New West conference on the region's changing politics, no cause ignited more enthusiasm than speeding the development of the alternative-energy industry.
It was the same story earlier this week in Las Vegas, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., convened party heavyweights for his second "National Clean Energy Summit."
That union of interests is already emerging, albeit in miniature form. Three-fourths of the alternative-energy industry's campaign contributions in 2008 (a meager $1.9 million) went to Democrats. More intriguingly, employment in the industry is trending toward blue (Democratic) states, partly because they are more likely to adopt the policies (renewable power requirements for utilities, for example) that nurture the industry. A recent Pew Charitable Trusts report calculated that clean-energy industries now provide about 770,000 U.S. jobs. (That's only about half of 1 percent of the total workforce but, strikingly, already three-fifths as many jobs as the conventional energy industry generates.) Obama won 18 of the 21 states with the largest number of green jobs and eight of the 10 attracting the most clean-energy venture capital.
Read the full article The Green and Blue Convergence on the National Journal Magazine's Web site.