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Does wind power really provide more jobs than coal?

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Jack Dempsey/AP/FILE

(Read caption) A wind turbine blade is unveiled during the opening of the Vestas blade factory in Windsor, Colo., Wednesday, March 5, 2008.

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Earlier this week, Fortune's eco-blog, Green Wombat, ran a story under the headline, "Wind jobs outstrip the coal industry."

Blogger Todd Woody citesĀ new report from the American Wind Energy Association that about 85,000 people are now employed by the wind power industry, up from 50,000 a year ago. Mr. Woody then says that "the coal industry employs about 81,000 workers," citing a 2007 report from the Department of Energy.

Woody calls this comparison "a talking point in the green jobs debate."

The story was republished on the Huffington Post, cited by Mother Jones magazine, and has been bouncing around the green blogosphere for the past few days.

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