NRDC Analysis: Arizona Econ Boost from Build Back Better Act
PHOENIX — 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 Arizona. 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 Arizona,” said NRDC Western Campaigns Director Sam Gilchrist. “More than 56,000 Arizona residents work in the clean energy sector already, specializing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean cars, and 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.”
The Build Back Better Act 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
“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.
56,504 Arizonans worked in the clean energy sector in 2020, according to the Clean Jobs America 2021 report from E2. This includes 39,880 in energy efficiency, 10,934 in renewable energy, and 3,188 in clean vehicles. The clean energy sector in Arizona grew 7.4 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.