Green Energy Jobs Surge Just in Time for Labor Day
“This Labor Day weekend, the story is that more Americans are working because of clean energy.”
That's the statement released by Environmental Entrepeneurs Executive Director Bob Keefe to accompany his organization's Labor Day jobs report.
As the report shows, it's certainly looking sunny for the sustainable energy and transportation sectors, which created some 12,500 new jobs in the second quarter of 2014, more than double the number of jobs added in Q1.
Solar continued its hot streak, adding 5,300 jobs, followed by wind with 2,700. Manufacturers of electric cars Tesla and General Motors also provided significant bumps, according to the report.
But Keefe did have some words of caution about his report's findings, as well: “to keep that growth going, we need our state and federal leaders to do their jobs too,” he said. “We need them to support smart policies that grow our economy and protect our environment – policies like the federal Clean Power Plan.”
Announced by the EPA in June, the Clean Power Plan aims to lower global warming pollution from power plants some 30% by 2030 by creating specific emissions reduction targets for each state. The EPA says it plans to work with states in a flexible way in implementing the plan, to allow for the fact that each state has its own unique energy mix.
E2's Labor Day jobs report is highly optimistic about the impact the Clean Power Plan will continue to have going forward: “Along the way, the policy is expected to drive growth in energy efficiency and renewable energy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and saving American businesses and consumers an estimated $37 billion in energy costs.”
Another key takeaway from the report not highlighted by E2 is that clean energy is taking off across the nation in red states and blue states alike (a phenomenon previously on display when Texas and California both set renewable energy records earlier this year).
In fact, as diametrically opposed as they are on cultural and social issues, the states of Arizona and California came in the number one and number two spots for clean energy jobs created, respectively.