WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to a new Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis released in a press call earlier today, more than 2 million jobs could be created in the 35 states across the United States that currently have Renewable Energy Standard, or RES policies in place, including the creation of nearly 70,000 jobs in Illinois. 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; 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 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 more than 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.
# # #