Press Release

NRDC Analysis: Robust Jobs and Clean Energy Growth Spurred by Build Back Better Agenda

Jake Thompson
jthompson@nrdc.org  301-602-3627

Elizabeth Heyd
eheyd@nrdc.org, 202-813-8315

WASHINGTON – The Build Back Better agenda would create hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs, accelerate clean energy investment and spur economic growth in the United States, a new NRDC analysis focusing on a dozen key states shows. The Senate should pass the Build Back Better agenda as soon as possible, so these substantial climate and economic benefits can spread to states, communities and workers across the country.

“Enacting the Build Back Better agenda is a critically-needed investment in our nation’s future,” said John Bowman, managing director for government affairs at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “Already, clean energy is the biggest job creator in our country’s energy sector, employing almost three times as many workers as the fossil fuel industry. The Build Back Better agenda offers tax incentives to further boost job creation and expand the renewable energy industry, especially in low-income communities, and support a just transition for communities that have relied on fossil fuel revenue and jobs in the past.”

For its analysis of the impact of the Build Back Better agenda, NRDC analyzed the potential job growth in manufacturing, building and servicing clean energy resources; the number of new megawatts of clean energy that would come online; and the impact of bonus tax incentives to invest in low-income communities and areas affected by closures of fossil infrastructure, making these communities very attractive for clean energy investment.

NRDC prepared individual fact sheets with specific numbers and examples of jobs created and clean energy investment that would be realized from the Build Back Better agenda’s climate and clean energy provisions. The states analyzed: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.  These are intended to give a picture of the job creation potential in individual states.

The Build Back Better agenda includes historic clean electricity investments, including:

  • $150 billion in clean electricity tax incentives
  • $25 billion for clean energy loans, grants, research, procurement, and more
  •  $20 billion for projects that reduce or avoid emissions by leveraging private sector investment
  • $9.7 billion for transitioning rural electric cooperatives away from fossil fuels
  •  $7 billion for state, local, and nonprofit programs to install zero-emission distributed technologies in low-income and disadvantaged communities
  • $5 billion for low-carbon projects in communities impacted by closures of fossil infrastructure like refineries or coal plants

Background:

The House-passed Build Back Better Act contains more than $150 billion in clean electricity tax incentives as well as more than $25 billion for clean energy loans, grants, research, procurement, and other essential programs. Tax incentives are critical to driving clean energy deployment and reducing the cost of renewables and other clean energy resources.

The tax incentives included in the legislation are flexible and accessible to support all types of developers (small and large, for-profit and not-for-profit) who will usher in the fastest—and most sustained—build-out of renewables in the country’s history. The incorporation of labor standards such as prevailing wage and domestic content requirements on clean energy credits will help increase American manufacturing and ensure that the jobs created are good jobs.

Nationally, 3,048,603 people worked in the U.S. clean energy sector in 2020, according to the Clean Jobs America 2021 report from E2. This includes 492,891 in renewable energy, 2,107,174 in energy efficiency, and 273,630 in clean vehicles. The clean energy sector is rebounding from a COVID-19-driven downturn and the Build Back Better bill legislation could accelerate that growth in the coming years.

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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.

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