WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. clean energy legislation could help create 850,000 manufacturing jobs around the country, a report from a group representing business and environmental interests said on Wednesday.
The study conducted the Blue Green Alliance found that policies such as a renewable electricity mandate would provide steady demand for clean energy and put Americans to work building the components needed to make wind turbines, solar panels and other technologies.
“There’s no question that our big investment in clean energy can lead to the rebirth of American manufacturing,” said David Foster, executive director of the alliance.
States with the most potential for creating renewable manufacturing jobs include California with an estimated 95,616 jobs, Texas with 60,100 and Illinois with 56,579.
The Obama administration has promoted development of clean energy technology as a way to revive the lagging economy, while lowering the nation’s dependence on climate-warming fossil fuels.
A center piece of the administration’s energy agenda is establishing a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, forcing industries to adopt greener practices. The alliance’s report said such legislation is necessary to bolster creation of clean manufacturing jobs.
Critics say claims of a clean energy revolution are overblown and climate legislation would kill many more jobs than it creates.
In addition to limits on carbon emissions, the study also recommended creating a renewable electricity standard that would require utilities to generate at least 25 percent of electricity from renewables by 2025.
The report also calls for more efficiency standards and construction of more transmission lines.
Editing by Christian Wiessner