Green jobs have been touted as the partial answer to the nation’s economic and environmental woes. Green jobs training provides under and unemployed workers with the skills that they need to start a new career. Much of the green jobs training program funded with the Recovery Act focused on energy efficiency upgrades and weatherization projects. At the same time, these energy efficiency upgrades reduce a building’s carbon footprint. If the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) passes, this trend will continue with up to 137,000 new jobs being created in 2015.

The Center for American Progress recently released their projections on the impact that the passing of ACES would have both on the environment and on the economy. “It would save consumers up to $63 billion on their electricity bills from 2012-2020, while reducing enough greenhouse gas pollution during this period to equal taking 26.5 million cars off the road.” Center for American Progress

The organization has created a comprehensive spreadsheet (XLS), which breaks down the benefit of ACES on a state-by-state level. According to the Center for American Progress, the state of Arizona would benefit from ACES to the tune of nearly 2,000 new jobs in 2015 and a five million metric ton reduction in carbon emissions. Arizona is already doing well with clean energy jobs. A recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that the state experienced a 21.3% growth in the industry between 1998 and 2007.

ACES could bring nearly 10,000 new jobs to New York State in 2015. These new jobs could save 48 million mWh of energy use and reduce carbon emissions by 18 million metric tons. Unlike Arizona, New York experienced negative clean job growth in the Pew study. Between 1998 and 2007, there was a nearly 2% decrease in clean energy jobs. In 2007, there were only 34,363 clean jobs in the state. The addition of 10,000 jobs, as predicted by the Center for American Progress, would boost the industry in the state.

ACES has passed the house and is currently awaiting action in the Senate. For more information on the American Clean Energy And Security Act (H.R. 2454), read Climate storm is brewing in the Senate by Karl Burkart.

Photo by David G. Romero

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