Recharging America’s Economy

How many jobs does America’s clean energy industry create today? How big is the potential for the future? The National Wildlife Federation has released a handy guide to help answer these practical questions.

Technological change has always been the engine that has propelled America’s economy forward. Today, bold changes in our energy economy can put America on the path to progress. Investing in clean energy alternatives can recharge America’s economy and lay the foundation for a stronger economic future. It will create and protect jobs here at home, save families and businesses money, and make America more energy independent. Clean energy will also provide a healthier, safer future for our children because it is the most effective solution to the threat of global warming.

America must lead the clean energy revolution. We can not afford to take a back seat. No nation in the world can outcompete America’s industry and entrepreneurs when we are determined to lead. We must reinvigorate our efforts to make sure the world’s solutions to warming carry the “made in America” label.

The Climate Security Act (S. 2191), will spur clean energy investments and revolutionize our energy economy. For example, The Climate Security Act will:

  • Help make “clean” more profitable than pollution.
  • Reduce spending on foreign oil by $1,650 per household over the next 20 years (cumulatively).
  • Create a 10-fold increase in federal investments to spur manufacturing and installation of clean energy technologies.

Most economic analyses of the Climate Security Act conclude that we can afford to fund huge new investments in clean energy technologies while strongly growing our overall economy. The Department of Energy predicts that America’s economy will grow by 74 percent by the year 2030 if the Climate Security Act is enacted (about the same as forecasts without the bill.)

Even as President Bush continues to insist the carbon cuts scientists say are needed would hurt our economy, the administration’s own economic experts are telling us just the opposite – that we can both take on global warming and have strong economic growth.

As we reduce our dependency on oil and coal, we can also save money on energy bills to help offset some of the costs of investing in clean efficient alternatives. In fact, according to a detailed technology analysis by McKinsey & Company on behalf of several major companies and other sponsors, U.S. emissions can be reduced by 20 to 30 percent below current levels by the year 2030 through investments that, in their entirety, save as much money through lower energy bills as they cost.

With all three leading presidential candidates supporting action by Congress to promptly cut greenhouse gas emissions, the countdown has begun toward enactment of a serious global warming plan,” said Jeremy Symons, executive director, National Wildlife Federation Global Warming Campaign.

“The facts of global warming demand our urgent attention, especially in Washington,” presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain said on Monday, speaking at a Portland training facility for Vestas Wind Technology. “We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great. The most relevant question now is whether our own government is equal to the challenge.”

Published: May 14, 2008