“(A) to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;”
The creation of “good, high-wage jobs” is a function of a healthy economy. The transition from inefficient, dirty fuel sources to cleaner, more efficient fuel sources has created jobs at an astounding rate.
As the domestic production of natural gas has surged in the last several years, the industry has grown to support 4.1 million U.S. jobs and has resulted in $121 billion in savings for U.S. businesses, allowing them to create even more jobs.1 In Oklahoma and Texas, a growing wind energy industry now supports upward of 30,000 jobs.2
The fundamental question is this: What should government’s role and responsibility be (if any) in directing and managing this transition?
The government’s role should be to establish an energy plan and policy (something that the U.S. has not had for decades.) It should consider the social, economic, political, environmental, and cultural impacts of every current and imaginable fuel source. It should establish the direction in which the world should be heading in the next 10, 50, 100 years, along with incentives and disincentives to promote the best outcomes.
Energy source transition must be gradual and based on market forces. If the government abruptly eliminates an energy source, millions of jobs will be destroyed while pushing the global economy into a terrible recession or worse. The world’s focus must return to the significant reduction of pollution–all pollution. Cleaning up polluted areas, developing new technology, and removing toxins from industrial and agricultural sources will drive job creation for decades.
1. The natural gas industry supports 4.1 million U.S. jobs. (“Natural Gas Act Offers Clear Pathway to American Energy Abundance,” American Gas Association, 2/5/20)
The natural gas industry has resulted in $121 billion in savings for U.S. businesses since 2009. (“Natural Gas Act Offers Clear Pathway to American Energy Abundance,” American Gas Association, 2/5/20)
2. In Texas, 25,000 people work in the wind energy industry. “A study published this month by the federal Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California found that 57% of people who lived within 5 miles of a wind turbine were either positive or very positive about them. Only 8% were negative or very negative. The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. ‘The majority of people we surveyed were within half a mile of an existing turbine, so they were people who know all about them, they’ve heard them and seen them day and night,’ said Ben Hoen, a research scientist with the Electricity Markets and Policy Group at the federal Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Wind produces a substantial number of jobs in the state. More than 25,000 Texans work in the industry. To maintain the turbines, teams of technicians constantly visit the structures, inspecting gears or conducting pre-planned maintenance.” (Elizabeth Weise and Rick Jervis, “As Climate Threat Looms, Texas Republicans Have A Solution: Giant Wind Farm Everywhere,” USA Today, 10/21/19)
In 2018, in Oklahoma, the wind energy industry supported 7,001 to 8,000 jobs. “The U.S. wind industry is a major economic development driver. In addition to job creation and billions of dollars in project investment, the wind industry invests heavily in local communities, providing significant revenue in the form of property, state, and local taxes. • Direct wind industry jobs in 2018: 7,001 to 8,000 • Capital investment in wind projects through 2018*: $14.7 billion • Annual state and local tax payments by wind projects: $23.5 million • Annual land lease payments*: $20 – $30 million.” (“Wind Energy In Oklahoma,” American Wind Energy Association, Accessed 2/14/20)