Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Strong Renewable Energy Standards Could Create More Than 2 Million Jobs
Press Release

RELEASE: Strong Renewable Energy Standards Could Create More Than 2 Million Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a new Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis released today in a press call with Colorado Governor Ritter and Minnesota State Senator Anderson, more than 2 million jobs could be created in the thirty-five states across the U.S. that currently have Renewable Energy Standard (RES) policies in place. However, the upcoming elections endanger the progress states have made with their clean energy and climate policies that reduce carbon emissions and create jobs due to a number of conservative candidates that have challenged renewable energy standards or denied the reality of global warming.

The six states most at risk of losing the potential to create new jobs through their existing RES policies include Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota and Oklahoma where there are tight races featuring candidates that oppose actions for clean energy reform . In Maryland, Ohio, and Illinois, the conservative gubernatorial candidates have made it clear they do not support RES policies; and in Kansas, Minnesota and Oklahoma, the candidates have professed themselves to be highly skeptical of the existence of global warming – and the corresponding need to pass policies to move to a lower-carbon future.

In today’s press call, Governor Ritter said, "We have two gubernatorial candidates, both Mays and Tancredo, who have talked about how they would unwind this energy agenda and have little sense of RES. The business community would be up in arms because we have been able to demonstrate job growth as a result of our clean energy agenda. We can’t go back to a day where we were not thinking of consuming and producing energy more efficiently."

In each of these states, ending the state’s RES policies would prevent them from creating thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs and hundreds of permanent operations and maintenance jobs. In these six states with the most at-risk renewable energy standards, more than 445,000 construction-phase jobs (full-time equivalent, for one year) are at stake, as are over 6,000 permanent jobs. The results for the six states identified in the analysis are:

Moreover, evidence suggests that meeting new energy needs from clean energy will create more jobs because clean energy is more labor intensive. For example, wind and solar photovoltaic industries provide at least 40 percent more jobs per dollar than coal. Additionally, government officials in other states with strong RES policies have demonstrated that when strong standards are achieved, thousands of renewable energy jobs have been created.

To read the full analysis, click here.

To listen to press call, click here.

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