Number of new clean energy jobs falls from 12,000 to 5,600
About 5,600 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in the first three months of this year, down from 12,000 such jobs reported in the comparable period in 2013.
A major geothermal project in Idaho accounted for the most clean energy jobs announced on the state level in the first quarter. Idaho was followed by more traditional clean energy leaders. The remaining states in the Top 10 were: Texas, California, Missouri, New York, Kansas, Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico and Louisiana.
Despite adding thousands of new jobs to the economy, the dramatic drop in clean energy and clean transportation job announcements in the quarter is a clear reflection of mixed signals American businesses are getting from Capitol Hill and state capitals when it comes to policies such as the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) and various state-level renewable energy standards (RES), according to E2.
"Congress pulled the plug on smart clean energy tax policies at the end of last year, while in the states, lawmakers are getting bullied by special interests that don't want our country to produce more clean, renewable energy," said E2 executive director Bob Keefe.
"Guess who's suffering as a result? American workers and businesses. Given the muddied policy environment on clean energy, low overall jobs numbers were expected. Fortunately, it's not too late for lawmakers to steer clean energy and clean transportation job growth back on track. ■