A federal government program that gives foreign investors green cards to invest in business ventures in the US is being tapped to spur the clean economy in Austin, Texas, reports Maria Gallucci at InsideClimate News. Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell announced a proposal to create the state’s first “EB-5 Regional Center” geared specifically to clean energy development and green job creation. The target is to create more renewable energy and to lure investment in advanced battery and green construction companies, among other clean economy projects. The EB-5 visa program, run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, allows foreigners who invest between a half and $1 million in projects to get a two-year visa. Projects creating at least 10 full-time jobs can earn investors a permanent green card. So far, the EB-5 program has created more than 43,000 full-time American jobs and attracted more than $2.2 billion in investments. More and more developers and cities are turning to the program to get their clean energy projects off the ground, said Peter Joseph, executive director of the Association to Invest in USA, the trade association of active EB-5 Regional Centers.
These days much of the foreign investment is coming from China, which has set its sights on leading the global race to develop clean energy.
Maria Gallucci, InsideClimate News http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120330/this-week-clean-economy-austin-texas-eb-5-immigration-green-jobs-solar-wind-power-china?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+solveclimate%2Fblog+%28InsideClimate+News%29