Opportunity Lost: How the Trump administration is killing the chance to create 560,000 new jobs

President Trump and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt would like us to believe that rolling back our fundamental clean energy and environmental protections will create jobs and help our economy.

That’s about as realistic as believing that climate change is a Chinese hoax and coal is the fuel of the future.

Consider the federal Clean Power Plan, which Trump and Pruitt are currently trying to eviscerate. The policy calls on states to reduce carbon pollution through energy efficiency programs and by replacing dirty energy from coal and gas with clean, renewable energy from solar and wind. By increasing demand for clean energy and energy efficiency, the Clean Power Plan would drive job growth and economic activity in clean energy sectors.

According to new analysis just released by E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the Clean Power Plan would create 560,000 jobs and add $52 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2030. When you consider solar jobs are growing at 25 percent a year and wind jobs growing at 32 percent, it’s simple to see how that kind of job creation is possible. (What’s the fastest-growing job in America today? Wind turbine technician).

Sadly, many of the states that bought into President Trump’s coal-is-king campaign promises will continue to lose out on the clean energy revolution.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, rolling back the Clean Power Plan will result in a missed opportunity to create 19,500 clean energy jobs, according to our analysis. Ohio will lose out on nearly 21,000 new jobs. And Virginia will miss out on more than 20,000 jobs.

In the Sunshine State of Florida, which has relatively little installed solar energy but lots of energy-hogging air conditioners, the clean energy market stimulus created by the Clean Power Plan would help create about 45,000 jobs and add nearly $4 billion to the state’s economy.

By contrast, we now also know that states that choose to enact smart climate and clean energy policies will continue to benefit from new jobs and economic growth.

A separate report just released by E2 in California illustrates this clearly.

It shows that the Golden State’s climate policies — including its groundbreaking carbon cap-and-trade program — have helped create nearly 520,000 clean energy jobs across the state and added more than $45 billion to the state’s economy.

Say what you want about California, but its climate and clean energy policies are working. Its residents, its economy and its work force are benefitting.

Federal policies like the Clean Power Plan provide a foundation for other states to benefit similarly.

Unfortunately, it seems like the Trump administration seems hell-bent on taking that opportunity away.

Executive director, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)

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