The Keystone to green jobs
It’s Monday, February 1, and Pennsylvania could gain nearly a quarter million jobs per year from green energy investment.
During the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump claimed that Joe Biden’s climate plans would cost Pennsylvania up to 600,000 fracking jobs. But a new report conducted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst shows that green energy investment in the Keystone State could actually create an estimated 2.4 million jobs over the next decade. These jobs would be in sectors ranging from environmental science to agriculture, supporting goals like creating clean infrastructure, restoring land, and transitioning away from fossil fuels.
The report estimates that an average investment of $31 billion per year would be needed to produce these clean energy job gains. Though that sounds like a big number, it represents only 3 percent of Pennsylvania’s GDP. Such an investment would lower the presidential battleground state’s unemployment rate from 7 percent to 3 percent, according to the study.
The report was released on the heels of last week’s so-called climate day, when President Biden issued a flurry of climate- and energy-related executive actions. Biden emphasized the economic opportunity of clean energy jobs when announcing his executive orders. “When I think of climate change and the answers to it,” he said in an address, “I think of jobs.” The executive orders signed by Biden included coordinating investment into communities transitioning away from fossil fuels and accelerating the permitting and siting of clean energy projects.
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