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State of the Union Address Highlights Growth of Green Industries



By Catherine Groux
Posted January 25, 2012 03:51 PM

The president's State of the Union address focused on natural and clean energy.
The president's State of the Union address focused on natural and clean energy.
During his third State of the Union address, President Barack Obama touched upon everything from the Dream Act to giving students improved access to associate's or bachelor's degrees. However, another topic the president discussed was natural and clean energy.

Obama told his audience that currently, the nation has a large enough supply of natural gas to last nearly 100 years. Additionally, as his administration cultivates this resource, it is estimated that it will create more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, while also providing a cleaner source of energy to help protect the environment.

"The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy," Obama said.

The president also stated that he will continue his commitment to clean energy by striving to pass clean energy tax credits and create new jobs in this industry. He asked lawmakers to create a "clean energy standard."

Obama's address reflects a national trend towards clean energy, sustainable living and overall environmentally friendly practices. As green industries continue to expand, many schools are doing their part by preparing students to become the next generation of environmental experts.

One such school is the University of Vermont, which recently launched an online certificate program in Sustainable Campus Innovations, according to a press release. In this series of three eight-week courses, students who work in the fields of operations, administration and education leadership can gain the skills they need to make campuses more eco-friendly. For instance, they will study ways in which they can give their campuses reputations for being green, as well as how they can implement sustainable practices in terms of energy, waste, water and transportation.

This course offering is particularly suitable for the University of Vermont, which has achieved high marks on the Sustainable Endowment Institute's College Sustainability Report Card. Overall, the school received a grade of an A-, as the institute states that "environmental stewardship is one of the core missions of the university."

Registration is now open for the online certificate program, and classes are scheduled to begin in March 2012.

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