Today four small business associations came together to release a report that shows an enormous number of U.S. jobs were lost when the Senate failed to pass clean energy legislation in July.
Small Business Majority, Main Street Alliance, American Businesses for Clean Energy and We Can Lead said in their report “A Costly Climate Of Inaction: 1.9 Million Jobs Lost Due To The U.S. Senate’s Failure To Advance Clean Energy/Climate Legislation” that China and other leading nations have gained more than $11 billion in job-creating clean-energy investments – with the U.S. losing an estimated $208 million every day – since the U.S. Senate abandoned comprehensive clean energy legislation in late July.
Essentially the report looks at private investment in clean energy and jobs that private investment would create. Since the Senate didn’t pass an RES (renewable electricity standard) or any kind of carbon legislation, it sent a message to investors that the country isn’t ready to get serious about clean energy.
The business associations point out that in the time that passed between the Senate recess and now, China overtook the U.S. to lead a quarterly index of the most attractive countries for renewable energy projects for the first time, according to Ernst & Young. Additionally, the U.S. has fallen more than $11 billion behind China and other leading nations in clean energy investments.
Their analysis is based on calculations performed in two reports. The first, from The Pew Charitable Trust, states, “it can be calculated based on existing investment trends that in the 54 days between July 22, 2010 (when the U.S. Senate abandoned the climate bill) and its return to Washington (September 13, 2010), the United States fell $11,269,800,000 ($208 million a day) behind other G20 nations in clean energy investments. And during that same time the U.S. has fallen $21,215,342,466 behind the rest of the world in clean energy investments.
The second set of calculations used in the report came out of the University of California, Berkley. The UCal Berkley analysis states, “the consequences of depriving the U.S. of tens of billions of dollars in private sector investments in clean energy jobs are huge. An analysis of the American Power Act – the last comprehensive climate legislation before the U.S. Senates – showed that it would have created 1.9 million jobs. When the Senate failed to act, those jobs were lost.”
Other key findings include the following:
With mid-term congressional elections looming, most experts agree that Senate action on clean energy is unlikely. On a conference call with representatives of these small business associations, however, the group was quick to point out that this is a bipartisan issue and small business owners of all political ilk support clean energy legislation because it will help them compete on a global scale.
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