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Granholm, actor Robert Downey Jr. boost clean energy jobs

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FILE - Robert Downey Jr. signs autographs as he arrives at the premiere of "Avengers: Endgame" at the Los Angeles Convention Center, April 22, 2019. The Energy Department is teaming with actor Robert Downey Jr. to recruit up to 1,000 new workers focused on climate change and clean energy. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, released a video with the “Iron Man” actor encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds to join the department's “clean energy corps” and take on jobs aimed at accelerating deployment of clean energy such as wind and solar power. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Energy Department is teaming with actor Robert Downey Jr. to recruit up to 1,000 new workers focused on climate change and clean energy.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Wednesday released a video with the “Iron Man” actor encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds to join the department's “clean energy corps” and take on jobs aimed at accelerating deployment of clean energy such as wind and solar power.

Participants will help build thousands of miles of electric transmission lines to carry wind and solar power and take on other jobs to research, develop and deploy ways to produce energy while cutting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, Granholm said. The new job corps is part of $62 billion awarded to the Energy Department under the bipartisan infrastructure law signed last year by President Joe Biden.

In the animated video, Downey says viewers may know him from one of his "many day jobs” as a billionaire superhero in “Iron Man” or “world’s greatest detective,” Sherlock Holmes.

“But now I've got this sweet new office over the Department of Energy, and I’ve already been putting in some crazy hours helping out the Clean Energy Corps,'' Downey says. "I’ve been working with some amazing people on fantastic new solutions" to climate change.

Granholm, who also appears the video, tells Downey the Energy Department is “looking for folks to help us with pretty much everything,'' from scientists to IT specialists, civil engineers, electrical engineers and more.

“My gosh, we mean everybody!” exclaims Downey, holding a coffee cup declaring him the "world's best DOE intern.''

“So why not come work with us and help the planet while you are at it?'' he adds, as Granholm extols the “nice” benefits, including a healthier Earth.

The video will be played on the Energy Department's YouTube channel and featured on social media.

Matthew Daly, The Associated Press