Progressive climate and energy policies can help save (and create!) American jobs

This country is facing some of its hardest times (and bleakest futures) since the 1930s. With American industry at a standstill, two wars, foreign fossil-fuel dependence, oil disasters, financial meltdowns, political sabotage, and an all out “war” on intelligence from the far-Right, it’s a wonder that we are still functioning at all (which is debatable still).

We need to be moving forward and enacting policies and laws that are going to make a difference for the long haul – for the survival of our country and our species on this ever-changing planet.

We need change, and we need it fast. By now, the intelligent circles in this country (that sadly feel like a small minority), realize that advanced climate actions are absolutely essential to developing a sustainable and strong economy as well as boosting national security.

According to a new report from the nonpartisan,  501(c)3 Center for Climate Strategies (and published with Johns Hopkins University), new climate and energy policies bear the potential for creating 2.5 million American jobs (while helping to curb energy costs) as well as produce around $134 billion in economic activity.

The report, based on economic impacts of climate policies developed by 16 separate and impartial states, calls for the adoption of 23 specific policy approaches, including the creation of new clean energy sources for heat and power, improved energy efficiency and industrial processes, transportation and land use improvements, agriculture and forestry conservation and expanded recycling and waste energy recovery under a national framework.

These policies have the potential to reduce pollution, are cost-effective, and improve energy, health, environment, and economic development. So, how exactly is this bad for the country? Save the planet, create jobs, make/earn some money…in the face of the multitude of crises affecting this nation at devastating proportions, what is the problem?

Beyond Obama’s targets

If every U.S. state would implement the full scale of all 23 actions, the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions would surpass national GHG targets proposed by President Obama and congressional legislation, and would reduce U.S. emissions to 27% below 1990 levels in 2020 – equal to 4.46 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (BMtCO2e).

“Several states have pioneered creation of comprehensive state climate action plans in recent years,” said Tom Peterson, President and CEO of the Center for Climate Strategies. “Our analysis provides the first clear indication of what would happen to the economy if such programs were adopted at the federal level.”

“These results may sound surprising to some, but detailed analysis shows opportunities for well-chosen policies to expand the economy,” according to Dr. Adam Rose of the University of Southern California, a principal author of the study.