West Virginia to See Thousands of New Jobs from Build Back Better Act [NRDC Analysis]

CHARLESTON, WV — A new NRDC analysis shows that the Build Back Better Act that was passed by the House of Representatives, has the potential to significantly accelerate clean energy investment and other economic activity while  creating millions of high-quality, family supporting union jobs across the country. The Senate’s passage of the policies in the bill would enable West Virginia to invest in climate solutions that could lead to more than 70,000 direct jobs, according to a new analysis from NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).

“The Build Back Better Act focuses on where we’re going, not where we’ve been. It would significantly invest in new economic activity and job growth in West Virginia,” said Dan Sawmiller, NRDC’s Director of Labor Relations. “These investments prioritize the well-being of workers, their families and the communities they call home.  Workers in West Virginia should be made to wait no longer for the kind of economic infusion the Build Back Better Act would bring to the state.”

Projected benefits of the Build Back Better Act in West Virginia include:

  • Additional direct jobs, like those to manufacture, build, and service clean/low-carbon resources: 32,400–73,500.
  • New low- and no-carbon electric generating capacity (including combined capture and storage retrofits at existing coal plants) built: 3,000 – 5,400 megawatts, enough to power the equivalent of 1.9 to 2.9 million homes annually.
  • Increase of in-state generation from low- and no-carbon energy resources from the current 6% to 39 – 73%.

“Coupling labor stands with these increasingly critical clean energy investments will lead to the creation and retention of high-quality jobs that offer workers a free and fair choice to join a union,” added Steve Crum, IBEW International representative. “When workers earn a fair wage in stable jobs, they help revitalize communities that for too long have struggled from underinvestment, discrimination and exploitation.  West Virginia needs the Build Back Better Act.”

Access the full NRDC BBB jobs analysis for West Virginia here: https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/clean-electricity-bbb-wv-fs.pdf


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 renewable energy 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 renewable energy 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.

8,996 people worked in West Virginia’s clean energy sector in 2020, according to the Clean Jobs America 2021 report from E2. This includes 986 in renewable energy, 6,309 in energy efficiency, and 899 in clean vehicles. The clean energy sector in West Virginia grew 10.3 percent between 2018 and 2020, and the Build Back Better bill would accelerate that growth.

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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