The value of clean energy is probably incalculable when taking into account not only pure cost savings but also the impact on our environment, our health and our planet. But of course, researching these clean energy systems, developing them, installing them and all the other myriad things we need to become truly energy efficient costs money.
I am bringing this up now because I have been accompanying Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan and Commissioner Mark Silvia on a series of visits across the state to celebrate and highlight the impact stimulus grants have had on clean energy in Massachusetts.
The state has invested $244 million in stimulus funds in clean energy and environment projects and it shows. This means that researchers can continue to discover ways to make us less reliant on oil, over 7,700 homes could be weatherized and a simple variable speed motor could be installed in water treatment plants, saving towns and cities lots of money.
The investments are being used in an extremely practical manner and with an eye towards the state's future. The energy projects funded by stimulus are providing 4,400 people in the state with stimulus-funded paychecks and are training many people in green energy techniques, positioning them for 21st century jobs. As significant, without those funds sectors like the state's solar industry would be lagging and many crucial clean and drinking water projects would just never get done.
Investing in clean energy seems like a choice but it's really not. Without these investments now, we would become increasingly dependent on skyrocketing energy costs not to mention the damage we would be doing to ourselves and the world we live in.
I don't know about you, but a state that makes these kinds of clean energy choices is a state I want to live in.