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Platts Energy Week

Sizing the Green Economy

Editor's Note: During an appearance on the Platts Energy Week program, Mark Muro discussed jobs in the green sector, using findings from the "Sizing the Clean Economy" report.

Host BILL LOVELESS: Green jobs – what are they? And can they make much of a contribution to the economy? It’s an ongoing debate in Washington, and the rest of the U.S. for that matter, and it’s a knotty one because defining the term “green jobs” is difficult.

But now the Brookings Institution has taken a crack at it with a new report, “Sizing the Clean Economy.” One of the authors, Mark Muro, with the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, joins me now. Mark, do you think you’ve defined, once and for all, what the clean economy is?

MARK MURO: The answer to that is “no.” This has been an ongoing discussion for decades, really. On the other hand, I do think that we have done is tried to embrace good precedents, good sensible precedents from Europe. The European Statistical Agency comes at it similar to the way we did. But we’ve also anticipated where the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here in the U.S., will be next year when it offers our first U.S. official definition.

LOVELESS: A summer preview, maybe. I know the Bureau of Labor Statistics is working on that. Should this report ... tell me a little bit about this report — where the jobs are and should this in any way change the way we look at green jobs.

MURO: I think one thing that comes from this is that it’s a broad swath of, sometimes not very glamorous, industries that are very familiar. Wastewater, mass transit – those are properly viewed as green jobs because they take pressure off the environment. They keep our environment clean.

Watch Mark Muro's full interview with Platts Energy Week »

SERIES: Sizing the Clean Economy | Number 6