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Ohio State Officials “Hide” Results of Green Jobs Report

Green Jobs Growing in Ohio – Solar power installation at Ohio’s Wayne National Forest
Green Jobs Growing in Ohio – Solar power installation at Ohio’s Wayne National Forest

A state-funded report has just come to light showing how well the market for green jobs is doing in the state of Ohio, but why have Ohio State officials been keeping it “hidden” (• – see note) for over a year?

Last year, noting that we are nearing the end of 2014, the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) paid some $435,000 for a study of green jobs during 2012. Inexplicably, the report was shelved, and the results were never released to the public. Interestingly, the only reason that the contents of the report came to light was during a recent debate over Ohio State Senate Bill 310, which would have put a two-year freeze on setting renewable energy and energy efficiency standards for the state. Critics repeatedly pointed out that the bill would hurt Ohio’s green economy, including some “25,000 green jobs,” as extracted from a 2012 report.

Hurting 25,000 green jobs in the state of Ohio would have been bad enough, if it wasn’t for the as-yet-unheard-of report. According to the DSA, the report was commissioned because “accurate job data is critical in the evaluation of current programs and policies and the identification of industry sectors facing retraction and expansion,” including green jobs. The report points out that, in 2012, there were some 31,000 green jobs in the state, more than other non-official studies had reported, and that Ohio solar power jobs accounted for more than any other renewable energy sources.

Green jobs in the state of Ohio, as in many other states, have gone uncounted, at least officially, for years, which plays perfectly into the hands of those who say green jobs and the green economy “don’t work.” Ohio DSA policy and communication chief says “Nobody here was trying to hide anything,” that it is misleading to say the report was “not released.” “We provided the document promptly to you and others who requested it. The confusion may be between ‘release’ and ‘publicize,’  ” she continued (• – see note, just for emphasis).

My guess is that “industry sectors facing retraction” include non-renewable energy jobs, perhaps those lining the pockets of the green economy opposition (read: Republicans behind Bill 310).

• It wasn’t “hidden,” although most certainly “released,” I’m sure, to any member of the public who was willing to venture into the Catacombs of Archived Files and endure three Heroic Challenges, one of which, I believe, is “Bring the Head of File Manager Steve.”

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