Vox Populi

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Sierra Club: New Report Shows Clean Energy Employs Far More Workers than Coal, Oil, & Gas

Clean energy jobs overwhelm fossil fuels in 41 States and D.C.

As EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt touts a new executive order attacking the Clean Power Plan, new Sierra Club analysis of Department of Energy 2017 jobs data across the energy sector makes it clear that the sector Pruitt and Trump will be attacking — clean energy — employs far more American workers than the fossil fuel industry. Clean energy jobs, including those from solar, wind, energy efficiency, smart grid technology and battery storage, vastly outnumber all fossil fuel jobs nationwide from the coal, oil and gas sectors. That includes jobs in power generation, mining, and other forms of fossil fuel extraction.

“Right now, clean energy jobs already overwhelm dirty fuels in nearly every state across America, and that growth is only going to continue as clean energy keeps getting more affordable and accessible by the day. These facts make it clear that Donald Trump is attacking clean energy jobs purely in order to boost the profits of fossil fuel billionaires,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “It’s clear this Administration is talking about energy jobs the wrong way. If we truly want to grow our economy, reduce air and water pollution, protect public health and create huge numbers of new jobs for American workers, we must seize the opportunity that is right in front of our eyes: invest more in clean energy including solar, wind, storage and energy efficiency.”

Sierra Club’s analysis of DOE data shows that, nationally, clean energy jobs outnumber all fossil fuel jobs by over 2.5 to 1; and they outnumber all jobs in coal and gas by 5 to 1.

The report also demonstrates that 41 states and Washington, D.C. (80% of the total) have more clean energy jobs than fossil fuel jobs from all sources. Some of the widest gaps where clean energy jobs vastly exceeds fossil fuels jobs are in major economies like Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Right now, only nine states have more jobs in fossil fuels than in clean energy, while only six states have more jobs in coal and gas than in clean energy–and the growth of clean energy suggests that won’t be the case for long.

“As our transition to clean energy continues, we must ensure that the benefits experienced are equitably shared and that the jobs and opportunities it creates provide living wages, healthcare benefits, and union representation for workers” said Brune. “It’s also critical to work tirelessly to ensure that the communities and workers historically dependent on fossil fuels are prioritized and put first at every stage of our ongoing transition to an economy powered more fully by clean energy.”

All the data used in this analysis, which is entirely based on Department of Energy 2017 reporting and state by state jobs numbers, is provided open source here at this link. Read the full report online here:

** READ THE REPORT **


The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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