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100,000 green jobs announced since U.S. adopted climate law, study finds

Feb. 6, 2023 Updated Mon., Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:56 p.m.

A PetersenDean Inc. employee installs a solar panel on a home in Lafayette, Calif., in 2018.   (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)
A PetersenDean Inc. employee installs a solar panel on a home in Lafayette, Calif., in 2018.  (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)
By Carly Wanna Bloomberg

Between August, when President Joe Biden’s landmark climate bill became law, and the end of January, companies have announced more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in the U.S., according to an analysis released Monday by the nonprofit advocacy group Climate Power.

The group monitored press clippings and company announcements to estimate private-sector jobs across a range of sectors that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – including electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, wind and solar energy and home energy efficiency. The group says its figure is likely a lowball estimate because it relied on public reports.

Climate Power identified more than 90 new clean energy projects in 31 states that have been announced since Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, representing a total of nearly $90 billion in new investment.

Most of those projects are in seven states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Georgia has attracted the most investment so far, the group found, with roughly $15 billion worth of projects in the pipeline that are expected to produce close to 17,000 jobs. Clean energy projects in the state include a $2.5 billion solar panel factory and new battery plants outside of Atlanta to supply Hyundai and Kia electric vehicles.

“The economic boom is starting, and it’s starting because of clean energy and the investments made in the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Lori Lodes, Climate Power’s executive director and co-founder. “This really is just the beginning.”

Lodes co-founded Climate Power in 2020 with John Podesta, who served in the Obama and Clinton administrations. Last September Podesta left the board of Climate Power to join the Biden White House, where he is overseeing implementation of the climate package.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to cut the nation’s climate emissions 40% from 2005 levels by 2030, provides billions of dollars in tax credits and other incentives to develop green industries. Before the IRA’s passage, the green labor group BlueGreen Alliance and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst released an estimate that it would create more than 9 million jobs over a 10-year period.

Lodes said that given how rare it is for the U.S. to adopt legislation of the IRA’s scope, “it is important that we actually tell the story about the impact of the law and how it’s going to benefit people’s lives. That is how we make the law durable.” She said Climate Power will continue to track new clean energy project announcements.

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