Credit: Gage Skidmore (@gageskidmore)

E2: Congress needs to join the mission of building back a cleaner, better economy

WASHINGTON (January 20, 2021) – Joe Biden will be sworn in today as the 46th President of the United States, bringing much needed change as the nation faces some of the toughest economic and environmental challenges in recent history.

The following is a statement from Bob Keefe, executive director of the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs):

“The long shadow over clean energy cast by the Trump administration has finally lifted.

“At last, we have the leadership we’ve needed for the United States to capitalize on the full potential of clean energy, creating jobs and driving economic growth along the way.

“We now need members of Congress to put aside partisanship and work together with their former colleague on the critical mission of building back a better, cleaner more equitable economy on the foundation of clean energy and clean transportation.”

No new president has had a better understanding for how clean energy can power a recovery than President Biden, according to E2. In overseeing $90 billion in clean energy investments as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), then-Vice President Biden helped jump-start game changing companies like Tesla, drive the biggest increase in solar and wind in the nation’s history and create millions of good-paying jobs in every state.

Biden enters the White House with the smallest clean energy workforce since 2015, according to E2’s latest clean energy unemployment report. Nearly 430,000 clean energy workers remain unemployed since March.

“We look forward to working with an administration that cares about our economy and our environment to get clean energy going again in America,” Keefe said.

Additional Resources:

  • Before COVID-19, nearly 3.4 million Americans across all 50 states and the District of Columbia worked in clean energy occupations, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization, clean vehicles and fuels, according to E2’s Clean Jobs America report.
  • E2’s latest unemployment report released for the month of December shows the clean energy sector finished the year with 429,000 (12% of the nation’s clean energy workforce) still unemployed – marking the first year that clean energy employment saw a decline compared to the previous year and lowest total since 2015.
  • E2’s Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report details how clean energy jobs pay 25% better than the national median wage (including the majority of fossil fuel jobs), have higher unionization rates than the rest of the private sector, and are more likely to come with retirement and healthcare benefits.
  • A $99 billion federal investment in clean energy— about same amount the U.S. invested in clean energy as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that then-Vice President Biden oversaw—would quickly create 860,000 new jobs and drive $330 billion in economic activity over five years according to the model detailed in E2’s Build Back Better, Faster

For more information please contact Michael Timberlake at (202) 289-2407 or mtimberlake@e2.org.

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Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.

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