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Will new air regs mean big business for contractors?

Changes to EPA's air pollution regulations could result in more business for skilled construction workers, according to a new report.

"Meeting new standards that limit sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury and other pollutants will create a wide array of skilled construction and professional jobs - from the electricians, plumbers, laborers and engineers who will build and retrofit power plants all across the eastern U.S., to operation and maintenance (O&M) employees who will keep the modernized facilities running," said Mindy Lubbers, President of Ceres, an investment group that co-authored the report along with the Political Economy Research Institute.

The report predicts that two new air quality rules scheduled to be implemented by EPA will prompt investments from the utility industry that will result in nearly 1.5 million new jobs over the next five years.

"America's status as one of history's great economic powerhouses has long depended on our willingness and ability to reinvest and innovate when changing times tell us it's time to retool," Lubbers added. "We've seen throughout our history that clean technology investments - whether to clean our rivers, improve our air quality or compete in the emerging low-carbon global economy - have long-term benefits that far outweigh the upfront costs."

You can download the complete report, entitled "New Jobs - Cleaner Air," in PDF format by clicking here.

03/04/2011