The States Adding The Most Clean Jobs Right Now
Upwards of 12,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in the second quarter of 2014, more than double those announced in the first three months of the year, according to a report from nonprofit business group EnvironmentalEntrepreneurs. A significant number of these jobs will allow states to fulfill federal carbon pollution standards introduced as part of the Clean Power Plan announced in June and meant to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% below 2005 levels over the next decade and a half. Each state can choose how best to achieve these standards and the report notes that “some governors have said fostering the growth of the clean power and energy efficiency sectors in their states is one of the best ways to both meet the standards and expand economic opportunities.”
The majority of the jobs created tend are in the solar industry, which has led the creation of clean energy and transportation jobs for five quarters. Upwards of 5,300 solar industry jobs were announced in quarter 2, largely due to falling prices, greater private investment, and the expiration of tax incentives in other clean industry sectors.
The auto industry led hiring in clean manufacturing, with General Motors GM +0.35% and Tesla announcing 1,900 jobs manufacturing electric cars. The wind industry, in turn, announced nearly 3,000 jobs, as many projects funded by recently expired tax credits began construction and companies hired manufacturing staff to for turbine production.
The jobs, which are measured by Environmental Entrepreneurs primarily via public company and media announcements, were announced in 29 states. Arizona leads the pack with five new projects providing 3,060 jobs. Environmental competitor California follows close behind, with 10 new projects providing more than 2,500 jobs. Michigan, Utah, and Massachusetts round out the top five.
The report calls strongly on Congress to extend industry tax provisions, saying, ”By failing to extend clean energy and energy efficiency tax incentives, Congress continues to subject the industry to market uncertainty, creating boom-and-bust investment cycles that result in sporadic employment for thousands of American workers.”