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A Big Deal

In the upcoming presidential election, jobs are still a major issue to voters, and the candidates are expected to present plans to increase job growth and sustainability.

Recently released jobs reports indicated unemployment dropped to 7.8%, though the people who exist on the fringes claimed it was a conspiracy—unemployment could not be that low. Let us assume the number is, in fact, real, and the job climate is getting better. “Getting better” doesn’t mean “no longer a concern” though, and there is a proposed development which could generate up to 70,000 jobs and 7,000 megawatts of energy.

The Atlantic Wind Connection, funded in part by Google’s energy focused subsidiary, would install a massive transmission bone along the Eastern seaboard connected to a series of offshore wind farms. The transmission bone would have a 380-mile power line which would enable up to 7,000 megawatts of electricity to be produced at offshore wind farms from Virginia to New Jersey—enough to power more than 2 million homes in the Mid-Atlantic region. Large-scale wind development off the Atlantic coast would also increase local, state and federal government revenues by an estimated $4.6 billion.

In addition to the construction jobs created by the installation of the Atlantic Wind Connection, more jobs would need to be created to maintain and sustain the Connection, along with jobs created directly by the industry. Further, studies conducted by the project backers estimate an additional 50,000 jobs would be created by the effect of added economic activity—restaurants and grocery stores, for example.

The Atlantic Wind Connection seems like a win-win situation on every front. Not only will it provide clean, renewable energy to 2 million homes, but it will provide nearly 100,000 jobs over its development.

If there is true alarm at the level of unemployment right now, then the Atlantic Wind Connection is bound to be supported—maybe even bipartisan support.

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