Global warming bill means thousands of new jobs
provided by the Natural Resources Defense Council
ajor global warming legislation would add more than 800,000 new jobs in America by 2025, according to a new study. The bipartisan bill, the Climate Stewardship Act, sponsored by John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) in the Senate, and Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and John Olver (D-MA) in the House, would trigger new development and investment in clean energy technologies, bringing much-needed employment to states and diverse job sectors across the country.
The Climate Stewardship Act, otherwise known as McCain-Lieberman, would set a nationwide standard for global warming pollution while creating a market-based system encouraging maximum technological innovation and profitable opportunities for companies to cut emissions.
The study, Jobs and the Climate Stewardship Act: How Curbing Global Warming Can Increase Employment, evaluated the employment effects of the first stage of the bill, released today at the Senate Radio-TV Gallery.
Among the findings of the study:
The NRDC-commissioned study was conducted by economists from Redefining Progress, a national research group, Jan Mutl, an Economics Professor from Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitat of Frankfurt, German, and contributing authors from Tellus Institute, a nonprofit research firm based in Boston, MA. The study used the same economic models employed by the Department of Energy and other federal agencies to analyze policy impacts on the economy and jobs.
To assess the employment impacts of McCain-Lieberman, the study used results from a Tellus Institute report that examined the effect of the bill and associated policies on energy demand, prices and costs, investment levels, permit prices, and other factors with the Department of Energy's National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) augmented by other modeling tools. The authors then estimated the impact of these changes on labor demand by industry sector through the use of an input-output model developed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Finally, they distributed the employment changes to states based on the relative importance of each industry sector in each state.
The major economic sectors that would be positively affected include non-energy manufacturing industries, which would see energy savings through the adoption of clean energy technologies, service industries, as consumers are projected to spend energy savings on goods and services, and agriculture, which would rise slightly under the current version of the bill. The energy and fuel industries would experience some job loss, mostly covered through normal turnover.
According to the study, the coal industry, which is already losing jobs due to increased productivity, would be the most adversely affected, but those effects could be mitigated through policies to promote deployment of advanced coal technologies, as well as through transition assistance to displaced workers. McCain-Lieberman includes incentives for the deployment of advanced coal technologies to reduce emissions while helping to preserve jobs in that sector, and direct transition assistance for displaced workers and adversely affected communities.
Senator McCain today expressed his desire to add further technological incentives to the bill in energy industries, such as a higher investment to deploy advanced coal technologies which would reduce CO2 emissions while preserving employment.
The study also analyzed the effects of a companion measure requiring reduced emissions and better efficiency in the auto industry, and concluded that such a measure would increase employment in the industry. No such measure is currently proposed in Congress.
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 1 million members and e-activists nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.