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.
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.