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Comprehensive Clean Energy and Climate Protection Legislation Could Create Up to 1.9 Million Jobs

Dan Lashof

Posted September 29, 2009 in Solving Global Warming

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As Senators Kerry and Boxer prepare to introduce a comprehensive clean energy and climate protection bill in the Senate, a new analysis by researchers at UC Berkeley confirms that similar legislation can strengthen our economy and create jobs. 

The new study shows that with strong implementation of energy efficiency measures the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) act, which passed the House in June, could create as many as 1.9 million jobs between 2010 and 2020.

Berkeley's findings are similar to previous results from the U. Mass. Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), which estimated that shifting $150 billion per year from fossil fuels to clean energy would increase employment by 1.7 million jobs. The PERI study demonstrates the near-term job creation effect of the stimulus bill in combination with ACES, while the Berkeley study shows the longer-term impact of ACES on its own.

Studies by the Congressional Budget Office, the Energy Information Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency all conclude that climate legislation such as ACES will have little effect on the US economy. The Berkeley study is consistent with this basic finding, but more positive because it better accounts for the benefits of energy efficiency, CO2-EOR, and innovation that would be stimulated by comprehensive legislation.

The Kerry-Boxer bill will not be identical to ACES, but its economic effects would be very similar. An analysis released by NRDC earlier this month shows that requiring a 20% reduction in emissions by 2020, as the Kerry-Boxer bill is expected to do, would only increase allowance prices by 6 percent compared to the 17% reduction required by the House bill.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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