Clean Energy Technologies Are The Real Job Creators

December 03, 2009 10:48 am ET

In an attempt to piggyback on the White House's jobs summit, the oil industry's various front groups (American Petroleum Institute, Institute for Energy Research, and Energy Tomorrow) have attempted to position oil and natural gas companies as the ultimate job creators. In reality, investment in clean energy technology creates FOUR TIMES as many jobs as an equal investment in oil and gas.

Oil Industry Falsely Claims Offshore Drilling Will Solve Unemployment Woes

Institute for Energy Research:

President Obama, business and labor leaders, academics and other elected officials will gather at the White House for a jobs summit. Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), issued the following statement on the positive economic impacts that safe, responsible offshore energy exploration could have on our nation's ailing economy and our long-term energy security:


"Inaction and the status quo cannot be accepted any longer - especially with today's 26-year high unemployment rate. If the president and Congress are serious about crafting solutions to help put Americans back to work, they will move forward quickly with a commonsense plan to access more homegrown energy resources on and offshore.

"With more than 115 billion barrels of recoverable oil and over 565 trillion cubic feet of natural gas located off our shores, energy exploration along the outer continental shelf (OCS) could add more than $270 billion to our economy each year. To families, seniors and small businesses struggling to make ends meet, that's good news. Our leaders in Washington should recognize that these resources are an asset, not a liability."

According to an economic analysis of the proven resources located on the OCS - over the life of the production - access to America's offshore oil and gas reserves could generate:

  • $8 trillion in additional economic output (GDP);
  • $2.2 trillion in total tax receipts;
  • 1.2 million new, well-paying jobs annually across the country; and
  • $70 billion in additional wages each year. [Institute for Energy Research, 12/2/09; emphasis added]

Clean Energy Creates Four Times As Many Jobs As Oil & Gas

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Creates FOUR TIMES As Many Jobs As An Investment In Oil & Gas.  According to the Center for American Progress, "spending $1 million on energy efficiency and renewable energy produces a much larger expansion of employment than spending the same amount on fossil fuels or nuclear energy. Among fossil fuels, job creation in coal is about 32 percent greater than that for oil and natural gas. The employment creation for energy efficiency-retrofitting and mass transit-is 2.5 times to four times larger than that for oil and natural gas. With renewable energy, the job creation ranges between 2.5 times to three times more than that for oil and gas." [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]

Increased Investment In Clean Energy Will Create Millions Of American Green Jobs

As Media Matters Action Network has noted, a recent study from UC Berkeley found that pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create up to 1.9 million jobs, boost GDP by up to $111 billion and increase families' incomes by nearly $1,200 per year!

Investment In Clean Energy Technology Will Create Over 1.7 Million American Jobs.  According to the Center for American Progress: "Investments in a clean-energy economy will generate major employment benefits for the entire U.S. economy. Our research finds that spending $150 billion on clean-energy investments would create roughly 1.7 million jobs. This is even after assuming a reduction in fossil fuel spending equivalent to the increase in clean-energy investments." [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]

  • Every Single State Will Gain Jobs From An Investment In Clean Energy Technologies. According to the Center for American Progress, investments in clean energy projects would create 1.7 million American jobs in every state in the country. [Center for American Progress, The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy, 6/17/09]

Investment In Renewable Energy Has Already Salvaged Many Manufacturing Facilities Closed During Economic Downturn.  Across America, factories and plants abandoned by the old economy have been re-tooled and re-opened to satisfy the growing demand for new energy technologies. For instance, once hopeless manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Michigan have re-energized their communities by creating jobs and leading the charge toward a new energy future. [Bloomberg, 4/2/09; Star Tribune, 4/22/09; Grand Rapids Press, 3/6/08]