Report: Senate’s climate bill failure leaves 481,000 Great Lakes jobs on the table

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When the U.S. Senate abandoned greenhouse gas-curbing legislation, they also pulled the plug on 1.9 million new clean energy jobs, according to a report released by a coalition of business groups.

The report cites state-specific numbers of “jobs forgone” for only four Great Lakes states – mostly those with gloomy unemployment rates. But those numbers are based on a year-old economic analysis of the climate change bill out of UC-Berkley (PDF) that gives an estimate of how many new jobs all 50 states could gain. Based on that analysis and the same unemployment numbers, here’s how the rest of the Great Lakes states shake out:

State Unemployment Rate Jobs forgone
New York 8.2 percent 126,000
Pennsylvania 9.8 percent 78,000
Illinois 10.3 percent 68,000
Ohio 10.3 percent 61,000
Indiana 10.2 percent 45,000
Minnesota 6.8 percent 38,000
Michigan 13.1 percent 37,000
Wisconsin 7.8 percent 28,000
Total 481,000

The Great Lakes states total of 481,000 is around the nationwide average for people making new requests for unemployment benefits each week, which the U.S. Department of Labor recently pegged at around 477,000.

Of course, the report says nothing of the job losses predicted by the bill’s opponents. The high end of those estimates comes from a report commissioned by the National Association of Manufactures and the American Council for Capital Formation which said the country could have shed as many 2.4 million jobs under a cap and trade program.

For a thorough look at the “job killer” versus “job creator” subplot of the climate bill, check out this post on the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Though the economic implications of the bill are moot now, the piece closes with an important point.

“An important caveat: None of these economic projections attempt to assess the effects of climate change on jobs or the economy. But (the Congressional Budget Office) says it expects there will be major economic consequences should Congress do nothing to control carbon emissions.”

Since Congress has done nothing, what we’re in for now is the economic impacts of climate change itself, not the policies meant to mitigate it.

2 thoughts on “Report: Senate’s climate bill failure leaves 481,000 Great Lakes jobs on the table

  1. Mike, the several hundred words worth of analysis you’ve posted here are exactly why I included the links. I’m glad you responded. I look forward to your sustained contributions to my future cynical and false arguments.

  2. An interesting piece of reporting on your part, or at least selective piece of reporting. Here are some other comments from the fact check you link to:

    “According to projections by the Energy Information Administration [this is the same government organization that Pelosi tried to cite to claim an increase in jobs] and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the net effect of the House cap-and-trade bill will likely be to slow future job growth. Using 11 different possible future scenarios, EIA projects that future job growth might be constrained by something between 388,000 (under the most optimistic assumptions) and 2.3 million (assuming everything goes badly) 20 years from now.”

    “We should note that under some of the scenarios analyzed, EIA projected that total employment might increase by a small amount during the early years of a cap-and-trade program. For example, in the “basic” case, EIA found that employment might increase by about 96,000 jobs in 2012, 42,000 jobs in 2019 and 266,000 jobs in 2024, before ending with a loss of 597,000 in 2030.”

    Note that even in the most optimistic estimates, EIA finds a temporary increase, but a NET long-term decrease. According to CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf:

    “Elmendorf, Oct. 14: In terms of the employment … there is certainly a decline in employment in fossil fuel intensive parts of the economy. There is an increase in employment in non-fossil fuel intensive parts of the economy.

    The net effect of that, we think, would likely be some decline in employment during that transition because labor markets do not move that fluidly. Workers live in certain places with particular skills, and they can’t immediately turn out living in some other place with a different set of skills.”

    You have centered your article on two paragraphs — approximately 110 words — in an approximately 2,200-word analysis. The other 2,090 words are devoted to arguing that there will be a long-term job loss, with the only question being, “how many.”

    The text of your article may not be a lie, but it is certainly selective reporting meant to present a false summary of the CBO/EIA overall analysis. Your headline, but CBO and EIA standard, is just a bold falsehood.

    As a piece of advice, next time you are going to cynically rest your false argument on out of context quotes, do not provide the link for the real assessment for the curious to look up and see your dishonesty.

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