Washington, D.C. — The Center for American Progress Action Fund today released “The Romney-Ryan Ticket: Ceding the Energy Future,” which shows that Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s opposition to key clean energy investments would result in more jobs shipped overseas and lower American competitiveness. In this issue brief the authors describe some clean energy policies with a proven track record of spurring investment and creating American jobs, highlighting where the two presidential contenders stand on each issue.
Although Gov. Romney touts his tenure at Bain Capital as valuable private-sector experience that gives him a business-minded approach to jumpstarting our economy, four major financial institutions—Wells Fargo, Bank of America Corp., Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and Citigroup, Inc.—have signaled their disagreement with his reluctance to embrace clean energy policies by pledging to invest a combined $170 billion in a cleaner economy. Even some of our largest companies believe a clean energy future is both a solid investment and a valuable venture. The clean energy investments pledged by American banks are a strong barometer of the potential the United States has to grow an even more robust clean energy economy—one that creates and sustains recession-proof jobs, reduces our reliance on oil from foreign nations, and reduces the air pollution that claims thousands of lives every year.
Other nations such as China, Brazil, Germany, and India recognize the promise of clean energy for economic growth and have implemented long-term policies to attract investment from their own companies and others around the world, including U.S. companies. The leaders of these nations know that capital will flow to the best policy environments for clean energy innovation. By opposing the policies that would keep green jobs in America, Gov. Romney harkens back to his Bain Capital days, showing a similar pattern of shipping overseas American jobs that could remain in our borders.
In contrast, the Obama administration has made it clear that the United States will join the worldwide effort to prevent catastrophic climate change by supporting clean energy policies that significantly help in the fight against greenhouse gas pollution and also create jobs in a renewable energy economy. For instance, the Weatherization Assistance Program, which was strengthened in the 2009 stimulus bill, has been a critical policy, as it has created American jobs that can’t be outsourced while saving hundreds of thousands of low-income families money on their energy bills. Clearly, investments made in the clean energy industry are in the best economic interest of our country.
The United States led in clean energy investments worldwide in 2011, with $48 billion invested in clean energy in our country. U.S. companies received more than 75 percent of all venture capital investments in clean technologies. But our status as a clean energy leader is far from permanent. We must continue to support the policies that have catapulted us to first place and ensure that our clean energy economy—which grew by 8.3 percent during the depths of the recession from 2008 to 2009—continues to thrive.