The Sierra Club, along with The Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO), hosted a Clean Energy Jobs Tour today that was very enlightening. We got a good look at where Ameren is proposing its coal ash landfill in the Labadie Bottoms flood way. It’s one thing to discuss the landfill in the abstract. It’s quite another to see the vast area it would consume firsthand. The county commissioners who are nearing a vote on land use restrictions that will allow Ameren to develop this acreage should be required to visit it before casting their vote. A real eye-opener, that.
We also got the grand tour of CG Power Systems USA Inc. in Washington, Mo, which has to be one of the area’s best kept secrets. CG is a union shop specializing in transformers for wind generators and solar collectors and it employs hundreds of people locally. Although CG is a transnational company with a presence in many countries, most of the supply chain for this plant is within the U.S. so American job creation from this one operation is exponential.
CG is proof that green jobs are not some pie-in-the-sky fantasy of tree-hugging hippy liberals. They are being created now and they are being created in our own back yard. Why so many of us were completely unaware of this operation is a mystery. Companies like this one should be highlighted at every opportunity to attract even more renewable energy-related businesses to our area.
The future of American manufacturing depends on America’s transition from a dirty energy consumption economy to a clean energy production economy. It’s encouraging too see that happening right here in our community.