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Clean energy jobs boom helps every state as coal jobs decline

Republicans continue to promote fossil fuels despite climate concerns.

By Oliver Willis - June 28, 2023
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Department of Energy
The U.S. Department of Energy headquarters is seen in Washington, D.C., Sept. 16, 2022. (Francis Chung/EENews/POLITICO via AP Images)

The Department of Energy released a report on Wednesday that shows growth in the number of clean energy jobs in every state and Washington, D.C., in 2022. In the same period, the number of jobs at coal-fired power plants decreased.

President Joe Biden has made support for clean energy a central focus of his legislative agenda, while Republicans in Congress have attacked him over it and promoted fossil fuels, which greatly contribute to global climate change.

According to the 2023 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, there were 114,000 clean energy jobs added last year; 40% of the jobs in the energy sector are now in clean energy.

“Thanks to President Biden’s historic Investing in America agenda, we expect to see steady growth of jobs to make and build a resilient and clean energy system offering good-paying and secure employment opportunities to America’s workers across the country,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

The report showed a 27% increase in jobs related to electric battery vehicle assembly, which has been an area of emphasis for the Biden administration. Funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are being used to build a network of charge stations along the interstate highway system, and people who purchase electric cars are receiving new tax credits.

Other areas of clean energy experiencing job growth include solar (up 3.7%), wind (up 4.5%), and geothermal (up 5%).

The report showed that the three top states for clean energy job growth were California, West Virginia, and Texas.

Federal legislation that Biden has signed since he took office in January 2021 is projected to invest more federal funding in green energy policy in the next 10 years than was invested in the previous 30.

An August 2022 report from the nonprofit group RMI determined that $514 billion in spending on climate technology and clean energy will come from the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the infrastructure law.

The trend in the United States is in line with a December report from the International Energy Agency that projected a sharp increase globally in clean energy production and a move away from fossil fuels as governments act in response to climate change.

Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, have attacked Biden’s attempts to transition the country to cleaner sources of power.

After Republicans took control of the House in the 2022 midterm election, they passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which would have rescinded green energy tax incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act. Senate Majority Chuck Schumer said the Republican legislation will not be considered in the Senate.

Republican lawmakers have continued to characterize Biden’s policies as a “war on American energy.”

The criticism has come as scientists recorded a notable spike in global temperatures in early June.

“We’re putting heat into the system — through climate change, through the greenhouse effect — and that heat is going to manifest. That energy is going to manifest in any number of different ways,” Rick Spinrad, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told the New York Times.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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