E2: As Congress prepares to vote on Inflation Reduction Act, clean jobs data shows every state would benefit

  • 3.2 million Americans worked in clean energy in 2021
  • Of top 10 states for clean energy jobs, half are red states; half are blue states
  • 50% of all new U.S. energy sector jobs in 2021 were in clean energy; clean vehicle jobs increased 26%

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 3, 2022) – As Congress prepares to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act and the biggest investments in clean energy in our country’s history, a new report shows that every state benefits from clean energy job growth – regardless of politics, geography or geology.

Of the top 10 states for clean energy jobs, half are in states represented by at least one Republican senator. Four out of 10 states have a Republican governor. And some of the fastest-growing states for clean energy jobs are Republican-leaning states, according to E2’s seventh annual Clean Jobs America2022 report.

Bob Keefe, executive director of the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) said:

“Expanding clean energy and clean transportation is simply a bipartisan win for our economy. This data shows clean energy jobs are not red state jobs or blue state jobs – they’re red, white and blue jobs.

“Regardless of political party, members of Congress who vote against the Inflation Reduction Act are voting against jobs and our economy. They’re voting instead to ignore the rising economic costs of climate change and the rising opportunities that come with expanding clean energy.”

Last year alone, climate-related disasters inflicted $150 billion in damage to our economy, according to NOAA. That’s on top of rising costs for everything from food to energy to homeowners insurance that are tied to climate change, according to Keefe, author of the new book Climatenomics: Washington, Wall Street and the Economic Battle to Save Our Planet.

Business leaders nationwide overwhelmingly support climate action and federal investment in clean energy. On Monday, E2 sent this letter to members of Congress on behalf of its 10,000+ members and supporters urging quick passage of the Inflation Reduction Act with its full slate of climate and clean energy provisions.

Troy Van Beek, co-founder and CEO of Iowa-based solar developer Ideal Energy, said:

“Good-paying clean energy jobs are now an important part of the economy in every state, regardless of politics, location or anything else.

“We now have the most important policy ever sitting in front of Congress. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle need to come together and pass the Inflation Reduction Act as soon as possible so we can keep growing.”

Ariel Fan, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based electric vehicle car charging company GreenWealth Energy, said:

“Policy matters. The Inflation Reduction Act would make it more affordable for more Americans to drive electric vehicles, which means more opportunities for small businesses like mine to keep growing. Congress needs to pass this legislation now.”

Michael Rucker, founder and CEO of Scout Clean Energy and a clean-energy project developer / owner / operator with projects in 26 states, said:

“The Inflation Reduction Act promises to generate the most significant tailwind for new clean energy project installations that we’ve ever experienced. Companies like mine, and the more than 3.2 million Americans who now work in clean energy, are counting on Congress to pass this legislation without further delay.”

Some highlights from E2’s Clean Jobs America 2022 report:

  • 3.2 million Americans now work in clean energy, up 5 percent from a year earlier.
  • Every clean energy subsector, from renewables and energy efficiency to electric vehicles and grid modernization, grew last year. Conversely, fossil fuel jobs fell 4 percent.
  • While clean jobs grew along with most of the rest of the economy in 2021, they are still well below their pre-COVID peak, in part because of lingering uncertainty around federal policy.
  • California, Texas and New York continue to lead the U.S. in total clean energy jobs. Following (in order) were Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
  • New Mexico saw the biggest percentage growth in clean energy jobs last year after it passed some of the most promising clean energy policies in the country. But other states – led by Oklahoma, Kentucky, Indiana and Idaho – are also benefitting. Clean energy investments included in the Inflation Reduction Act would drive more job growth in those states and others.
  • Clean vehicles were the big story in 2022. Jobs building electric vehicles grew by a dramatic 26 percent. Many Republican-led states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Texas and Tennessee, benefitted greatly from expansions of EV and other clean transportation manufacturers, and also would benefit from electric vehicle tax credits included in the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Small businesses, the backbone of America’s economy, continue to employ the majority of the clean energy workforce. About 90 percent of all clean energy jobs were at companies that employed fewer than 100 workers.

According to E2’s analysis, energy efficiency continued to lead all clean energy fields in total jobs, with 2.17 million. Renewable energy (515,000), clean vehicles (339,000) and storage and grid modernization (143,000) followed.

Methodology:

This is the seventh annual Clean Jobs America report produced by E2 based on analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy’s annual US Energy Employment & Jobs Report (USEER). For more details on methodology see www.e2.org/reports/clean-jobs-america-2022.

Additional Information: 

For more information or for interview requests, please contact Alex Frank (703-276-3264; afrank@hastingsgroup.com).

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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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