Investing in a clean energy recovery to create 1.7 million net new jobs

The Center for American Progress, alongside the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, has undertaken detailed analysis of the impacts that strong climate and clean-energy legislation could have on the U.S. economy. It looked at a suite of policies designed to curb CO2 emissions by driving investment into clean energy technology, and assessed their impact on employment opportunities, economic growth and people’s incomes. This modeling focused on the combined impacts of two federal government initiatives. 1) The set of clean-energy provisions incorporated within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, initiated by the Obama administration and passed into law by Congress in February, and 2) The recently passed American Clean Energy and Security Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA).

This analysis shows that these two measures operating together can generate roughly $150 billion per year in new clean-energy investments in the United States over the next decade.

This estimated $150 billion in new spending annually includes government funding but is notably dominated by private-sector investments. An estimate of this sustained expansion in clean-energy investments triggered by the economic stimulus program and the potential implementation of Federal climate and clean-energy legislation, can generate a net increase of about 1.7 million jobs nationally. This expansion in job opportunities can continue as long as the economy maintains a commitment to clean-energy investments in the $150 billion per year range. If clean-energy investments expand still faster, overall job creation will increase correspondingly.

These job gains would be enough””on their own””to reduce the unemployment rate in today’s economy by about one full percentage point, to 8.4 percent from current 9.4-percent levels””even after taking into full account the potential for any job losses or transitions elsewhere in the U.S. economy. Our analysis calculates that roughly 2.5 million new jobs would be created overall by spending $150 billion on clean-energy investments. Similar investments in conventional fossil fuel energy would produce only 800,000 jobs, so that even if all the investment in clean energy and efficiency were to come directly from traditional energy sectors, an unlikely event, the total impact on the U.S. economy would be a net gain of 1.7 million sustained jobs.

This is a CAP repost.

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7 Responses to Investing in a clean energy recovery to create 1.7 million net new jobs

  1. ecostew says:

    Biofuels & GHGs:
    A report examining the impact of a global biofuels program on greenhouse gas emissions during the 21st century has found that carbon loss stemming from the displacement of food crops and pastures for biofuels crops may be twice as much as the CO2 emissions from land dedicated to biofuels production.

  2. Publius says:

    Or we could create 100 million jobs in agriculture.

    Although we will almost certainly build out some renewable energy sources, the reality is that our future involves using much less energy than we do now. We have no choice but to cut back radically. The energy of the future will be the calorie.

    It is possible and necessary to stop the harm that industrial agriculture is doing — resource depletion, global warming, global poverty, increased food insecurity and hunger, and unsafe, low-quality food — and we can do so simply by choosing to change the nature of what we grow and what we eat. We need more participation in the food system. We simply have no choice but to radically alter our food system, to end its dependency on fossil fuels and to bring food security to the table as a central issue of our times.

    We need a return to human norms and human community, to living in a way that is connected to our land and our food, much as all human societies before our have.

    “…it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.” -Thomas Jefferson (1785)

  3. Anonymous says:

    2 Publius: “the reality is that our future involves using much less energy than we do now.”
    1. The heat of Global Warming comes from the sun. Our ‘contribution” is greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses control the “HEAT DISSIPATION” into cold [near absolute zero] outer space. The heat we humans generate is zilch to nil compared to the sun. Our energy use is irrelevant as long as we don’t make greenhouse gasses in the process of making the energy.

    2. We can’t have civilization continue without MORE energy use. It just has to be energy that doesn’t involve generating greenhouse gasses.

  4. K. Nockles says:

    Joe is this the new or should I say more relevent message that would get the I,me, (if it doen’t look like I have to suffer, to hell with the future generations) crowd to wake up?

  5. Stephan says:

    That’s quite a few jobs, in the right area. It’s about time that big investments and commitments are actually made. We are on the right track, but were nog going fast enough yet.

    For more info on the environment, have a look at this Green News.

  6. Tom Mazanec says:

    Maybe it is my generation (I was born in 1958) but did yoy have to use the compact flourescent lightbulb graphic in that position? The first thing I thought of when I saw it was a mushroom cloud…

  7. Jon Rennie says:

    This is what we need right now. Cleaner energy, energy independence, and more jobs.