|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FEBRUARY 16, 2005
|CONTACT: Energy Future / U.S. Public Interest Research Groups
Liz Hitchcock, 202-546-9707
Investing in Clean Energy Would Create More Than 154,000 Jobs Annually and Save Consumers $16 Billion in 2020
WASHINGTON -- February 16 -- Investing in clean energy solutions would create 154,000 new jobs annually in the U.S. between 2005-2020 and save American consumers $16.2 billion on their electricity bills in 2020, according to a new report released today by U.S. PIRG.
Released as the Kyoto Protocol goes into force and the U.S. House of Representatives moves forward on an energy bill built on fossil fuels and nuclear power, Redirecting America's Energy: The Economic and Consumer Benefits of Clean Energy Policies shows how increasing U.S. energy production from renewable sources to 20 percent of the electricity supply by 2020 and shifting billions in proposed subsidies away from coal, oil, gas and nuclear industries toward energy efficiency and renewable energy would generate widespread benefits for consumers, the economy and the environment.
"Almost 140 countries have taken steps toward reducing global warming pollution by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, yet the U.S. is watching the parade go by while it takes a 'wait and see' approach," said U.S. PIRG Environmental Advocate Navin Nayak. "U.S. PIRG's report demonstrates that solving our energy problems is an unprecedented opportunity to redirect America toward a cheaper, safer, cleaner and more productive energy future."
The U.S. PIRG analysis compared the economic and consumer impacts of three different energy policies:
1) The final 2004 energy bill conference report (H.R.6) which would have given more than $35 billion in taxpayer subsidies to the coal, nuclear, oil and gas industries and was twice rejected by the U.S. Senate;
2) a 20 percent renewable energy standard with no federal subsidies; and
3) a 20 percent renewable energy standard with a shift of the proposed $35 billion in subsidies for coal, nuclear, oil and gas industries toward energy efficiency and renewable energy.
To undertake the analysis, U.S. PIRG contracted with the consulting firm Economic Research Associates, who developed a national energy and economic model that provides detailed projections of energy production and consumption patterns and enabled U.S. PIRG to evaluate the economic, consumer and environmental impacts of different energy policies.
Among the findings of the report, clean energy solutions would:
"Politicians are fresh out of excuses for ignoring clean energy solutions," continued U.S. PIRG's Nayak. "There is clearly a right way and a wrong way to craft energy policy. The right way invests in America-creates new jobs, saves consumers billions of dollars on their electricity bills and protects public health and the environment. Last year's pork-laden energy bill was the wrong way."
The analysis also found that a 20 percent renewable energy standard alonewithout any federal subsidieswould generate comparable consumer and job benefits to the energy bill without billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.
"If the only thing Congress did on energy this year was to pass a 20 percent national renewable energy standard, it would be better for America's economy and consumers than last year's over-priced and wasteful energy bill," concluded Nayak.
U.S. PIRG is the national advocacy office for the state PIRGs. The state PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan statewide advocacy groups.