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|
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 FactCheck.org. 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.