Clean energy jobs coming to East Texas

(KYTX) - Clean energy job creation is down nationwide, but up in Texas, and a number of those clean energy jobs will soon be rising here in East Texas.

Supporters of the clean energy industry say it will boost the nation's economy and protect the environment. It's a field with a long way to go.

East Texas Electric Cooperative Manager Edd Hargett says, "We're almost 65 percent dependent on coal and the rest of it's natural gas and we've got a little hydro power but not much."

A national community of business leaders called Environmental Entrepreneurs" has released numbers showing national clean energy jobs have dropped this quarter by about 26,000.

Texas, however, is adding jobs.

"We have the resources here to do renewable power and we're taking advantage of it," Hargett says.

He says Texas is showing continuous efforts to create renewable energy, which leads to job opportunities.

"I think we have more wind power available out in West Texas and here in East Texas what we're doing is developing a biomass plant down in Woodville. That's going to put permanent jobs, about 20-25, construction jobs we'll probably have about 200 over the next two years," he said.

The biomass plant will turn debris from the thick woods of East Texas into usable energy.

"We also have a hydroelectric plant that's going to go in on Lake Livingston."

That will bring jobs directly to Trinity County and other counties near the lake, but the entire region could see economic benefits from all this job growth.

"This gives us some diversity in our generation and also adds to the economic growth of the area in East Texas," Hargett says.

He hopes some of these projects can serve as prototypes for clean energy projects, creating jobs for Americans across the country.

Texas has already been bumped up to number six in the country for green job production, up from number 15 last quarter.

Growing East Texas projects like the biomass plant could bump that number even higher. The plant should be producing energy by December of 2014.



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