US News whispers: “Obama to Say Climate Change Bill Will Create Jobs in State of the Union Speech”

Media looking for comments on the speech and on how climate action creates jobs can reach me via email (click here) or quote the post below.

Washington Whispers by Paul Bedard

White House advisers spinning the boss’s State of the Union message late today are telling lawmakers to expect President Obama to press for passage of controversial climate change legislation because it will create jobs….

Job creation will be the president’s top priority. He will play up green jobs with a claim that passing energy and climate legislation””unlikely this year””will create jobs.

Shhh.  It’s a secret:  The climate and clean energy jobs bill … creates jobs.  For a discussion of two major 2009 studies see “New analysis shows how clean energy legislation will create 1.7 million jobs and opportunities for low-income families, including lower energy bills“).

Oh and the bill would stimulate the economy, according to one Nobel laureate (see Krugman : Climate action “now might actually help the economy recover from its current slump” by giving “businesses a reason to invest in new equipment and facilities”).  In fact, Krugman pointed out in November:

Still, should we be starting a project like this when the economy is depressed? Yes, we should “” in fact, this is an especially good time to act, because the prospect of climate-change legislation could spur more investment spending.

Consider, for example, the case of investment in office buildings. Right now, with vacancy rates soaring and rents plunging, there’s not much reason to start new buildings. But suppose that a corporation that already owns buildings learns that over the next few years there will be growing incentives to make those buildings more energy-efficient. Then it might well decide to start the retrofitting now, when construction workers are easy to find and material prices are low.

The same logic would apply to many parts of the economy, so that climate change legislation would probably mean more investment over all. And more investment spending is exactly what the economy needs.

Lots of studies find that an aggressive push on clean energy creates jobs (see USGBC jobs finds “Green building to support nearly 8 million U.S. jobs over next 4 years”).

Imagine the jobs that could created if we slashed our nearly $1 billion a day outflow of hard-earned dollars to buy foreign oil — and instead took that money and bought home built efficient cars and plug-in-hybrids, plus low-carbon electricity and next-generation biofuels (see EIA: Clean air, clean water, clean energy jobs bill would make America more energy independent, cutting U.S. foreign oil bill $650 billion through 2030, saving $5,600 per household).

And the beauty of a well-designed climate bill is that it pays for itself or can actually reduce the deficit if desired, assuming anybody is actually interested in that.

By the way, it’s such a “secret” that comprehensive climate, clean air, and oil-saving legislation creates jobs and helps the economy that even a large fraction of the public knows it, as a recent AP/Stanford poll found:

Do You Think That The U.S. Doing Things To Reduce Global Warming In The Future Would Cause There To Be More/Fewer Jobs For People Around The Country?

More jobs                       40%

Fewer jobs                      23

Would not affect jobs     33

Do You Think That The U.S. Doing Things To Reduce Global Warming In The Future Would Hurt/Help The U.S. Economy?

Help U.S. economy             46%

Hurt U.S. economy              27

Would not affect economy  24

Shhhhhh.  Don’t tell the media and the swing Senators, though.  Because then the bill wouldn’t be “unlikely” anymore.

3 Responses to US News whispers: “Obama to Say Climate Change Bill Will Create Jobs in State of the Union Speech”

  1. Leif says:

    “The climate and clean energy jobs bill … creates jobs.” The very reason that the GOP are against passage. It pains them to give any success to the left, even if it means hardship to the American people and the Nation.
    That and it will cost their handlers, fossil energy producers, money.

  2. Dan B says:


    I hadn’t read the Krugman columns you linked to in this post. He’s a bit of a wild card. What struck me was the resonance between what he outlined for corporations – building more buildings because you need them -or- because you’ll want to, 1. be more energy efficient / 2. leverage your expenditures.

    My personal experience seemed to be in sync with corporate interests. The experience of my neighbors was in sync with corporate interests, at least as outlined by Krugman.

    I moved from a hip neighborhood, 98% Dem’s, huge diversity of income and age – $1 per day income 16 year olds thrown out of their homes, living on the cheap, sharing terrible bug infested apartments, and $100,000+ per day 30 year old tech millionaires and 80 year old “old money” millionaires in mansions with views of lakes and mountains – to another neighborhood 5 miles away.

    I spent 33 years in my old ‘hood. It went from 25% black to 5% black in 33 years. Most “people of color” were living next door to me 33 years ago. When I left most “people of color” lived in the horrible apartments that seemed to never change.

    I moved to a neighborhood where white people comprised 10% or less of the population, probably much less. I love my new neighbors. They’ve embraced me and my loved ones.

    My neighbors know what “green jobs” are. It’s jobs that are bubbling up everywhere here. Who knew?

    My white upper middle-class “hip” neighborhood did it because it was a good thing to do. My new neighborhood does it because it’s a very good thing, because it’s already the best bet.

  3. Dan B says:


    So well put with such economy of words.