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Good Green Jobs in a Global Economy

Making and Keeping New Industries in the United States

David J. Hess

Publication Year: 2012

An examination of the politics of green jobs that foresees a potential ideological shift away from neoliberalism toward “developmentalism.”

Published by: The MIT Press

Series: Urban and Industrial Environments

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-x

Sustainability and justice are the central policy issues of the twenty-first century, but they are associated with an even greater challenge: that of finding the political will to implement solutions. Of the many factors that influence the lack of political will, one of the most important is the pressure exerted on...

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pp. 1-28

At the 2009 Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference in Washington, the international president of the United Steelworkers, Leo Gerard, described an experience he had had while riding on a high-speed train in China. When a waiter put a glass of water on his tray, Gerard quickly grabbed the glass to keep it from spilling...

I. Background

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1. Energy, Manufacturing, and the Changing Global Economy

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pp. 31-46

At the end of World War II, the United States possessed more than two-thirds of the world’s gold and most of its functioning manufacturing capacity; however, the US had a significant vulnerability. Its demand for oil was outpacing domestic production, and foreign oil was much less expensive than domestic...

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2. Green Jobs and the Green Energy Transition

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pp. 47-69

In the 1970s, when green energy policies first emerged in the United States, the supporting political constituencies were mainly environmentalists and green businesses. The utilities took seriously the utopian claims of environmental and progressive activists, who envisioned a time when the power lines...

II. Policies and Politics

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3. Green Industrial Policy and the 111th Congress

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pp. 73-101

The 111th Congress met in 2009 and 2010, during a historic moment of severe financial crisis and recession. Strong Democratic majorities in both houses and Barack Obama’s campaign promise of “change you can believe in” increased expectations that significant legislative reform would occur. Among the...

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4. State Governments and the Greening of Import Substitution

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pp. 103-123

Although the federal government has only a limited industrial policy in support of the green energy transition, state governments have forged more comprehensive policies. Between 1996 and 2000, fifteen states included a public benefits fund in electricity restructuring legislation, and by 2000 eight states had...

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5. The Greening of Regional Industrial Clusters

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pp. 125-145

Whereas the previous chapter focused on the developmentalist implications of the demand side of state and local policies, this chapter will discuss the corresponding supply side. Although regional economies reap benefits from locally produced renewable energy, they can also benefit from the other side of green...

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6. Localist Alternatives to the Mainstream Transition

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pp. 147-167

Although the innovation cluster is an important example of a developmentalist approach to the green transition, there is a second approach associated with a different type of green businesses than those in the technology sector and those in the clean tech clusters. Small independently owned businesses...

III. Processes and Explanations

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7. Green Transition Coalitions and Geographical Unevenness

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pp. 171-189

In the United States, some green energy policies are in the social liberal tradition of redistributive assistance to low-income populations, and others are more in the neoliberal tradition of creating new markets, but on the whole the policies cut across social liberal and neoliberal ideologies by focusing...

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8. After 2010: Continued Unevenness in the Green Transition

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pp. 191-211

By 2011 there was an intense battle of frames for defining the relationship between the global economic crisis that had begun in 2008 and the green energy transition. Whereas Democrats continued to view green jobs as a partial solution to problems of unemployment and energy costs, many Republicans had...

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pp. 213-229

To reduce the level of greenhouse gases and other environmental burdens, it would be necessary to make substantial shifts in the generation and production of electricity, the ways in which buildings conserve and use energy, and the structure and energy sources of transportation. The transition would take...

Appendix: State Government Votes for Green Energy Laws

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pp. 231-238


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pp. 239-254


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pp. 255-288


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pp. 289-293

Series List

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pp. 295-297

E-ISBN-13: 9780262305907
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262018227

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Urban and Industrial Environments

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Environmentalists -- Vocational guidance -- United States.
  • Environmental policy -- United States.
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