EPA gives nod to green company Method

September 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The downfall of the solar plant Solyndra has many skeptical about the emergency industry focused around green energy and technology. Still, another Bay Area company is getting an endorsement from Washington.

Method is a San Francisco company that makes environmentally-friendly cleaning products. The Environmental Protection Administration's Lisa Jackson was on-hand on Thursday to cheer the company's latest innovation: Bottles made from ocean waste.

Jackson's visit comes on the heels of a Washington Post column surrounding the green jobs hype.

"People aren't seeing those jobs as fast as we might like, but they are there," said Jackson. "You would expect to see this administration answer those kinds of charges very aggressively."

Jackson disputes those who see Fremont's bankrupt Solyndra as a sign of failure for the green industry and the administration guaranteed loan program. The Post, sourcing the Weekly Standard, claimed the program has created fewer than 4,000 new, permanent jobs nationally.

"You should expect to see a continuing push back from those of us in the administration who know better," said Jackson.

Professor Carlos Zabin with the Center for Research and Education at UC Berkeley says green jobs are a positive but relatively small plus for the economy.

"It can't solve the whole problem," said Zabin, "and that's the part I think was hyped up -- that green jobs would be like manna from Heaven and solve our huge, huge unemployment problem."

According to Zabin, these green industries are just a part of the economy, and she believes those who say the jobs are pipe dreams have the wrong idea of what constitutes a 'green job.'

The professor believes, even if a construction project doesn't include solar panels, it could include green jobs -- the person who installs double-pane windows or the latest energy-efficient air condition -- jobs you might not consider to be green.

"It's really about greening the economy," Zabin said. "Not so much about producing products that we consider green."

In the case of Method, both apply.


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