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Enviros pitch green jobs as a win-win for RI

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With all the bleak economic news, the promise of green jobs in RI may offer a glimmer of hope.

Local enviros plan a community discussion on the topic this Saturday, and I write about it in this week's Phoenix:

With global warming looming and the US economy in a mess, environmentalists have a simple answer — green jobs — for simultaneously promoting environmental protection and economic development.

And as part of a national day of action this Saturday, September 27, local activists plan to stage a community discussion about “Greening the Rhode Island economy,” at the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, from 9:30 to 11:30 am.

“As Rhode Islanders struggle to make ends meet amidst a declining job market, a turbulent economy, stagnant wages, and record high gas prices, our green economy presents an opportunity to dig ourselves out of the ditch,” US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who will offer the keynote address, says in a news release. “Investing in clean renewable energy production and improving the efficiency of our cars, homes and businesses will stem the tide of global warming, break our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and create entire industries of new ‘green collar’ jobs to sustain American workers.”

A panel discussion featuring local environmentalists and activists will follow Whitehouse’s address. Those interested in attending the free event can show up at the door, register at greeningrieconomy.com, send an e-mail info@greeningrieconomy.com, or call Greg Gerritt at 401.621.8048. For details about the national event, see greenjobsnow.com.

Denise Parrillo of Clean Water Action says the local green jobs’ event grew out of a desire among local environmental activists to capitalize on the national day of action. “As we started to plan, people got really excited,” she says. “Hopefully, this will just be the start of something” to promote the expansion of green jobs in Rhode Island.

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