Jobs Are Coming Back. Will Energy Reform Come With Them?


Images via Climate Progress

You've likely heard the big news today that 162,000 new US jobs were added in March, which marks the biggest gain in employment in 3 years. Some 40,000 of those were attributed to the Census, but the rest was true private sector growth. Since the boilerplate (but untrue) talking points opponents of energy reform use was that it would kill jobs and burden the fragile economy, and now we're finally seeing distinct job growth again, is there a better chance that the beleaguered clean energy and jobs bill will become law? Perhaps--the news certainly does a little damage to the opposition's case, and may make it more likely for many Americans to support energy reform. However, it must be stated that it has been the opinion of the majority of Americans all along that transitioning to clean energy and fighting climate change would create, not lose, jobs. Myriad polls have reflected this result, try as anti-climate action and anti-clean energy interest groups might to cast comprehensive reform in a negative light.

Here's just one of them, an Allstate/National Journal/Heartland Monitor poll taken in January--before the major jobs recovery of March (via Climate Progress):


And here's another, taken in December by AP/ Stanford:

Do You Think That The U.S. Doing Things To Reduce Global Warming In The Future Would Cause There To Be More/Fewer Jobs For People Around The Country
More jobs 40%
Fewer jobs 23
Would not affect jobs 33

Do You Think That The U.S. Doing Things To Reduce Global Warming In The Future Would Hurt/Help The U.S. Economy?
Help U.S. economy 46%
Hurt U.S. economy 27
Would not affect economy 24

And there are more, and they all point to the same thing: Americans (rightly) think that policy designed to promote clean energy and curb climate change would be beneficial to the economy, and would be a boon to domestic job growth. And now that the ship has been steadied some (though we're by no means out of rough waters, to continue a bad metaphor), measures that might seem a little riskier to many Americans--like pricing carbon to stimulate clean energy investment and promote green job growth--may find more pervasive acceptance. People already believe investing in clean tech will grow jobs--the recent bit of good news may give them reason to throw their support behind it.

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