WASHINGTON — A little-known investment program in the reconciliation package before Congress would create 7.7 million jobs, generate $1 trillion worth of economic growth and drive the U.S. electricity sector toward 80% clean energy, according to a new study commissioned by Evergreen Action and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).
The in-depth analysis of the proposed Clean Electricity Payment Program was conducted by the independent economics consulting firm Analysis Group and released today.
It said the Biden administration proposal, which adopts a carrot-and-stick approach, would deliver historic benefits over the next decade. Chief among them:
- Expanding the workforce by roughly 7.7 million jobs.
- Injecting over $907 billion into the U.S. economy.
- Raising $154 billion in tax revenue for federal, state, and local governments.
- Driving economic development through the construction of over 600 GW of new solar, wind and other clean energy projects.
NRDC and Evergreen Action also released a memo today highlighting the study’s findings.
“Americans are ready to get to work building the clean energy economy of the future,” said Evergreen Action Co-Director Sam Ricketts. “By passing a well-designed CEPP today, Congress can expand the workforce by nearly 8 million jobs and grow the economy by almost a trillion dollars over the next decade, while building a clean, modern power grid that will cut pollution and help meet our climate goals. The return on investment is too good to pass up, Congress must act now to pass the Clean Electricity Payment Program and the other critical climate investments in the Build Back Better Act.”
“Congress has an historic opportunity to usher in a booming clean energy economy while confronting the climate crisis, and CEPP is the cornerstone of that opportunity. Today’s analysis confirms that CEPP is critical to expanding the energy workforce and fostering economic opportunity in every region of the country. A strong CEPP that invests in the transition to 80% clean power by 2030 will create nearly 8 million jobs and $1 trillion in economic benefits, while raising more than $150 billion in tax revenue for state, local, and federal governments,” said Arjun Krishnaswami, climate policy lead, innovation, in the Climate & Clean Energy program at NRDC.
A blog by Krishnaswami on the economic impact of the CEPP is here.
CEPP is a federal investment program that helps to drive the electricity sector toward 80% clean electricity by 2030, on the path to 100% clean power by 2035. The program would deploy a carrot and stick approach, with federal investments in electric utilities to incentivize growth in their clean energy portfolio coupled with financial penalties to ensure that utilities don’t fall behind in their transition to carbon pollution-free power sources.
A well-designed CEPP will add 7.7 million jobs to the workforce between 2021-2031 and support 1.7 million jobs each year by 2030. Among jobs the program will support are those of electrical workers, solar installers, wind technicians and battery manufacturers, as well as many construction jobs.
These numbers are estimates of net job gains over the coming decade, and factor in any changes in employment resulting from the ongoing energy transition. Because CEPP creates incentives for utilities everywhere to increase clean electricity, these economic benefits will accrue to people in every region across the country. And by providing incentives to make immediate progress, CEPP starts creating jobs right away, and continues supporting the economy throughout the decade.
In addition to spurring these major economic benefits, separate analysis finds that well-designed CEPP investments would slash pollution that warms the climate and harms our health. Analysis using the Integrated Planning Model (IPM) finds that the CEPP, paired with clean energy tax incentives, could cut power sector carbon pollution 85 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, which is equivalent to 43% to 50% of the emissions reductions across all sectors necessary to meet President Biden’s commitment to cut economy-wide climate pollution by at least 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.
This same IPM analysis also found that CEPP investments would drive massive reductions in deadly criteria air pollution over the coming decade, with commensurate public health benefits. The CEPP would cut deadly sulfur dioxide emissions by 88-93% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 71-80%, compared to business as usual, by 2030. Together, CEPP-driven pollution reductions amount to $100 to $184 billion per year in climate and public health benefits.
Evergreen was founded by a group of former Gov. Jay Inslee for America staffers and supporters who came together in 2019 on a mission to elect a new president to build support for an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis and create millions of jobs in a new economy run on clean energy. Evergreen is leading the fight to put bold climate action at the top of America's agenda, implement an all-out mobilization to defeat climate change and create millions of jobs in a clean energy economy. We empower climate and community leaders, and advocate for policymakers to adopt the urgent climate policies that science demands.
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.