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Where are California's green jobs?

June 3, 2009 |  6:00 am


What are green jobs and where are they? Californians can begin to find out thanks to a new mapping website from the Environmental Defense Fund that allows them to search out companies that retrofit homes for energy efficiency, manufacture parts for renewable energy systems, build electric cars or process advanced fuels. And they can search by city, county or congressional district.

Why congressional district? Well, that would be so constituents could tell their representatives how much green business is at stake when they decide how to vote on American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, the sweeping legislation that seeks to control global warming emissions while creating green jobs. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), is expected to reach the floor of the House of Representatives by July 4.

Click on the congressional district of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Orange) for instance, and one can count more than 40 green businesses, including Catalina Solar & Wind in Avalon, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. in Seal Beach, and Doran Electric Vehicles in Huntington Beach.

This would be the same Congressman Rohrabacher who sent out a press release this week calling climate legislation "The Biggest Power Grab in History" and touting himself as "among Congress' most outspoken opponents of global warming alarmism."

"Public officials, environmentalists and businesses have not been effective in conveying the message that green is going to be good for the economy," said Derek Walker, director of EDF's California Climate initiative. "Everyone is worried where the next jobs are going to come from. These maps tell us."

The maps are "a work in progress," Walker said.  More businesses will be added to the 2,200 counted so far, and others can be added by contacting EDF through their web page.

So far, among counties, Los Angeles ranks at the top, with 398 green businesses, followed by San Diego with 208, Orange with 202, Santa Clara with 173 and Alameda with 131.

-- Margot Roosevelt

Photo: Solar panels atop the Anaheim Convention Center. Credit: Los Angeles Times