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Clean Energy: Win, Lose, or Draw?

“Win, lose or draw, here’s one nonpartisan issue on which Republicans and Democrats alike should agree: Clean energy works for America.” ~Bob Keefe, Executive Director, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)

Did Clean Energy win, lose, or draw in Tuesday’s election? The findings of a new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) may surprise–and even delight–you:

  • More than 18,000 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in 21 states between July and September of this year.
  • Both Republican and Democratic congressional districts benefitted from clean energy job announcements in the quarter.
  • Republican-led districts had the most job announcements in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other clean energy industries.

As E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe writes in his Post-Election Report: Clean Energy Jobs Grow in Republican (and Democratic) Districts blog entry, “Our analysis shows that about 9,100 jobs were announced in Republican congressional districts in the third quarter, compared with about 7,700 jobs announced in districts represented by Democrats. About 1,250 job announcements spanned both Republican and Democratic districts.”

Map of the US broken down by state where Clean Energy jobs were announced.
Image Credit: Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)

More importantly, Keefe writes, “This isn't a new trend. Looking back at clean energy projects announced throughout last year, about 124 were in Republican-led congressional districts. That’s the exact same number - 124 - announced in Democratic districts last year.” Considering Clean Jobs as a Whole

While these new jobs are welcome, we should also consider the total impact on jobs. Are these new, clean energy jobs outpacing the loss of old, dirty energy jobs?

As Clean Technica relates, citing the President of Pear Energy and a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, there are more than three times the number of green jobs created per $1 invested than fossil fuel or nuclear jobs.

Bar graph detailing the truth about job creation in clean energy vs fossil fuels.

Jim Marston, Vice President of US Climate and Energy for Environmental Defense Fund, wrote back in April that “Kansas’ 2009 renewable energy law enjoys overwhelming support across political lines: 73% of Republicans, 75% of Independents, and 82% of Democrats support the law. In fact, two-thirds of those polled said they would support increasing the state’s renewable energy law, even if it increased their energy bills.” Marston reminds us that this is Kansas, not California, and that Kansas’ “State Legislature is virtually 100% conservative Republican.”

Perhaps rumors of the death of bipartisan support for clean energy and green jobs have been greatly exaggerated...

Kyle G. Crider (MPA, LEED AP ND) is a professional science and sustainability “story teller.” In his spare time he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary (Environmental Health) Engineering and traveling the highways and by-ways of home state with his wife Beverly in search of fact, fiction, and folklore for Strange Alabama.