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Green energy jobs on the rise in Texas

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Amarillo, Texas - Clean energy jobs are on the rise in Texas.

As more projects are created across the Panhandle, and with the recent reelection, some professionals in our area say the future is looking very green.

Executive Dir. of Class 4 Winds AJ Swope says, "the president has very famously touted clean energy. In the past four years however, didn't really get a lot done with the clean energy industry. And obviously we're seeing a decline in green job growth."

But not in Texas, more specifically not in the Panhandle.

Swope discusses the Tax Extender's Bill being passed through the senate finance committee.

It would include a one year extension of a production tax credit, which would encourage renewable energy growth.

He says, "a lot of where we're going to be next quarter depends absolutely on the political process. If the production tax credit is passed, which I absolutely believe it will be. If the production tax credit is passed, we'll see more job growth, more political certainty."

The program coordinator of renewable energy at Amarillo College believes in the solar area, we will also see more job growth.

Delane McUne says, "well, President Obama has really supported green energy jobs in his previous presidency, I would assume he will continue to do so. He has been a big propionate of not only of research and solar, but also in new wind technologies and ocean technologies. So I would see all of the green jobs increasing."

Texas has jumped from the fifteenth state to the sixth state in new green jobs.

Both Swope and Mcune see the clean energy job opportunities continuing to grow.

There are two big projects being developed over the next couple of years that will create more opportunities for people in the Panhandle.

The CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zones) System is a massive network of high voltage power lines that are currently under construction.

It is meant to transport wind energy from the Panhandle and West Texas to the more metropolitan areas of the state in need of additional power capacity.

The project will be complete at the end of 2013.

The next project is called the Plains & Eastern Clean Line.

The plan is to build a privately owned transmission line from Guymon, OK to Memphis, TN.

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