NRDC Analysis: 8,600+ Montana Jobs from Build Back Better Act
BOZEMAN — A new NRDC analysis shows that the Build Back Better Act, as it currently stands, has the potential to significantly accelerate clean energy investment, economic activity, and job growth in Montana. The Senate now needs to pass the Build Back Better Act as soon as possible to bring these climate and economic benefits to states across the country.
“The Build Back Better Act will bring clean energy investments and good jobs to Montana,” said NRDC Western Campaigns Director Sam Gilchrist. “Nearly 10,000 Montana residents work in the clean energy sector already, and Build Back Better investments could create 10,000 more. By focusing investments in low-income communities and communities that have relied on the fossil fuel industry, we can support new jobs and businesses in counties that need them most.”
Projected benefits of the Build Back Better Act in Montana include:
- 2,900-3,400 new megawatts of clean energy, enough to power 1.4 million homes every year
- 8,600-10,300 local jobs created in manufacturing, building, and servicing clean energy resources
- Bonus tax incentives to invest in low-income communities and areas impacted by closures of fossil infrastructure such as Lincoln County and Powder River County, making these communities very attractive for clean energy investment
“Enacting the Build Back Better agenda is a crucial and critically-needed investment in our nation’s future,” said NRDC Government Affairs Managing Director John Bowman. “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.”
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.
9,460 Montanans worked in the clean energy sector in 2020, according to the Clean Jobs America 2021 report from E2. This includes 7,968 in energy efficiency, 617 in clean vehicles, and 442 in renewable energy. The clean energy sector in Montana grew 7.5 percent between 2018 and 2020, and the Build Back Better bill legislation could accelerate that growth in the coming years.
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.