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Almost Two Million US Clean Energy Jobs Lost

by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 23, 2010
China and other leading nations have gained more than $11 billion in job-creating clean-energy investments - with the U.S. losing an estimated $208 million every day - since the U.S. Senate abandoned comprehensive clean energy legislation in late July, according to a new analysis from Small Business Majority, Main Street Alliance, American Businesses for Clean Energy and We Can Lead.

The analysis shows that, if left unremedied, the Senate's failure to act will cost the United States 1.9 million jobs - including 600,000 in the 10 states with joblessness in excess of 10 percent. The report documents that, in the nearly two months since the Senate failed to act, clean energy investments already have started shifting away from the United States to China and other nations.

Other key findings include the following:

+ Nearly 600,000 of the unrealized jobs were lost where they are now needed most - the 10 states with unemployment rates over 10 percent: Nevada (17,000 jobs); California (226,000); Rhode Island (8,000); Florida (78,000); South Carolina (36,000); Mississippi (19,000); Oregon (26,000); Indiana (45,000); Ohio (61,000); and Illinois (68,000).

+ Even states with lower unemployment levels lost hundreds of thousands of urgently needed new jobs, including more than 300,000 jobs in the following states: Arkansas (25,000); Maine (12,000); Massachusetts (40,000); Minnesota (38,000); Missouri (29,000); Montana (13,000); New Hampshire (7,000); New Jersey (11,000); Pennsylvania (78,000); and Virginia (50,000).

+ The lost jobs forfeited by the U.S. Senate include major categories of employment that could have put Americans to work immediately with little or no additional training or education - since a large portion of clean energy jobs require widely-held skills that millions of Americans already have.

+ The Senate's failure to take action will have even wider negative economic consequences on American families, including Americans missing out on an increase to annual household income of up to $1,175 per year, and a boost to America's gross domestic product (GDP) of up to $111 billion - with these huge economic benefits flowing across all 50 states.

American Businesses for Clean Energy Spokesperson Chris Van Atten said: "The clean energy race will go on with or without the United States. It will not wait if federal lawmakers decide to sit out the next year, three years or a decade. In the near term, the prospects for new jobs and other economic benefits from clean energy remain on the table. The U.S. Senate has already cost the United States billions of dollars in job-creating clean energy and climate-related investments. The question must be asked: How much further behind China and the rest of the world will the Senate allow America to fall in the global clean energy race?"

Small Business Majority Founder and CEO John Arensmeyer said: "Opinion polling of small business owners we conducted confirms widespread support for a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill. In this tough economy, small business owners are doing their part to reduce energy costs, invest in new technologies and create jobs, but they can't do it alone. They need the Senate to act quickly and pass clean energy policies that will reignite economic growth and put millions back to work."

Main Street Alliance Field Coordinator Jason Collette said: "These are jobs that can't be outsourced and will provide the foundation for a small business customer base and healthy local economies. There is no excuse in this tough economy for the Senate's failure to act and its failure to create these jobs."

Speaking for We Can Lead, Tim Greeff, political director, Clean Economy Network, said: "Business leaders across the United States are in a global race to lead the clean energy economy. The Senate's failure to enact comprehensive climate and energy policy has left American businesses at a competitive disadvantage which grows with each day that we delay enacting meaningful policies that will create millions of American jobs and put Americans back to work."

Thousands of U.S. businesses - including small firms in all 50 states - have gone on record as supporting comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation as the best way to maintain American competitiveness with China and other nations, and to help kick start the struggling the U.S. economy.

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