Clean-Energy Investment Provides Economic Boost, More Jobs, and Expanded Opportunities

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Michael Oko, NRDC, 202-513-6245 or moko@nrdc.org

Clean-Energy Investment Provides Economic Boost, More Jobs, and Expanded Opportunities

New Analysis Demonstrates How America Can Create 1.7 Million Jobs and Opportunities for Low-Income Families

WASHINGTON - As clean energy and climate legislation moves through Congress, new
data show that a $150 billion investment in clean energy could create a
net increase of 1.7 million American jobs and significantly lower the
national unemployment rate. According to the analysis, shifting to a
clean-energy economy will help millions of low-income Americans by
creating more accessible job opportunities -- with the potential for
advancement -- and by lowering utility bills and transportation costs.

Two complementary reports - prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (PERI), Center for American Progress (CAP), Green For All, and the Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC) - outline how investment in a clean-energy economy will produce
significant economic and job creation benefits. These include the
generation of roughly three times more jobs than would be generated by
the same investment in the existing fossil fuel infrastructure.

"As
Congressional leaders debate energy and climate legislation in
Washington, we are seeing growing momentum behind a shift to clean
energy and efficiency across America," said Peter Lehner, Executive
Director of NRDC. "It's never been clearer that American ingenuity and
investment in clean energy can be a driving force for economic growth,
energy independence, and environmental protection, so we can increase
economic opportunities while reducing global warming pollution."

"Jobs
are the cornerstone of any economic recovery, and these reports show
that investing in the clean-energy economy will create 1.7 million new
jobs across the country as well as cut America's contribution to global
warming and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said John Podesta,
President of the Center for American Progress.

The
Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy: How the Economic
Stimulus Program and New Legislation Can Boost U.S. Economic Growth and
Employment
from PERI and CAP explains how the combination of the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the American Clean
Energy and Security Act (ACES) could serve as the foundation for
bringing total clean-energy investments in the United States to
approximately $150 billion per year. This public spending and private
investment would produce a net gain of 1.7 million new jobs.

"These
reports make clear that investment in a clean-energy economy will
create pathways to prosperity for millions of Americans, especially in
low-income communities and communities of color," said Phaedra
Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All.  "Green-collar, career-path jobs
that are accessible to Americans from a broad range of educational
backgrounds are a win for our economy, a win for our environment, and a
win for our workers."

Green Prosperity: How Clean-Energy Policies Can Fight Poverty and Raise Living Standards in the United States
from PERI, NRDC and Green For All shows that shifting from traditional
fossil fuel to clean energy will improve the standard of living for
millions of Americans across all skill and education levels, especially
among lower-income families.

According to the "Green
Prosperity" report, nearly half of the 1.7 million new jobs created by
green investment will be accessible to workers with relatively low
levels of formal education. Of these, nearly 75 percent will have high
potential for advancement. This expansion could drive down the
unemployment rate by more than one percentage point.

In
addition to creating new economic opportunities, this investment will
significantly contribute to improvements in energy efficiency in
buildings and homes, lowering overall energy costs for consumers and
especially benefiting lower-income households. These savings could be
as high as 4 percent of household incomes for some families. Moving to
clean energy would also improve public transportation, especially in
urban areas, which could lead to an average reduction in living costs
of 1 to 4 percent per family.

 "Economic Benefits of
Investing in Clean Energy" breaks down the economic growth potential in
all 50 states, while the "Green Prosperity" report focuses on job
creation and the economic impact on lower-income families in 41 regions
across 22 states.

"These studies draw on simple but
robust modeling techniques to estimate the effects on U.S. employment
and living standards of a $150 billion annual clean-energy investment
program," said Robert Pollin, Co-Director, Political Economy Research
Institute at the University of Massachusetts. "By synthesizing these
data sources and modeling approaches in a new way, we are able to
observe in detail how clean-energy investments can deliver substantial
benefits to communities throughout the country, especially for
lower-income working people and their families."

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

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