< class="art-postheader">Clean Energy Creates more Jobs than Fossil Fuels

The number one objection I tend to hear when championing green energy goes like this: “Stop knocking the oil companies. They create more jobs than any other industry.” Never mind the fact that oil refineries expose a full 1/3 of the United States population to air pollution in excess of the Clean Air Act’s designated safe levels. Never mind that Big Oil would rather spend millions on deceptive advertising than clean up their own act. Never mind that our addiction to oil and our dependence on the Middle East is a national security threat from abroad. . . and that the oil refining process produces hundreds of thousands of tons of carcinogenic waste here in the U.S.A. We don’t care if we’re fighting wars abroad and poisoning ourselves at home, because at least we have jobs.

Here’s why the “Jobs” Argument is Bogus:

Clean energy creates more jobs than Big Oil.The Metropolitan Policy program at Brookings teamed up with Battelle’s Technololgy Partnership Practice to assemble a statistical report on clean economy industries in the United States.  Here’s what they concluded:

“The clean economy, which employs some 2.7 million workers, encompasses a significant number of jobs in establishments spread across a diverse group of industries. Though modest in size, the clean economy employs more workers than the fossil fuel industry.” Read the full report.

Hey, I thought I saw you do a double-take there. Yes, the clean energy sector, which is in its infancy, already provides more jobs than the oil, coal, and natural gas industries combined. No wonder Big Oil spent millions on anti-clean energy ads last year. They’re running scared.

But wait. There’s more! The report also states that “newer ‘cleantech’ segments produced explosive job gains, and the clean economy outperformed the nation during the recession.” Furthermore, “the clean economy offers more opportunities and better pay for low- and middle-skilled workers than the national economy as a whole,” the report says. The clean economy median wage is 13% higher than the median U.S. wage.

Finally, the South (which is traditionally thought of as Big Oil country) is home to the largest number of clean energy jobs.

Those are the facts. Now that you know, spread the word.

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