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Washington Examiner: Republicans learn to love wind and solar jobs after once mocking them

Posted by Josh Siegel on Oct 23, 2018

This Washington Examiner piece discusses the shift in tone in Republican’s support of advanced energy technologies and the accompanying jobs. AEE’s perspective is included, quoting Dylan Reed, Head of Congressional Affairs.

Link to the full article here.

Excerpts of the Washington Examiner story are below:

Republicans used to deride so-called “green jobs” when former President Barack Obama promised to create millions of them with subsidies and loan guarantees. Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee for president in 2012, attacked Obama's "unhealthy obsession with green jobs." During a campaign stop in Colorado, he famously asked mockingly, "Have you seen those jobs anywhere?"

But now that those jobs exist — increasingly in rural, Republican-leaning states and districts — GOP lawmakers at the state and federal level are dropping the “green” moniker and boasting of clean energy credentials ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. They are doing so even as President Trump has prioritized restoring coal jobs, of which there are half as many as solar…

There are now nearly 3.2 million clean energy jobs in America, and the industry employs more workers than the fossil fuel industry in 42 states and Washington D.C., according to the nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs. (Note: AEE calculates 3.4 million U.S. jobs based its definition of advanced energy.)

Solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians are the two fastest growing occupations in America, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. California, unsurprisingly, has the most clean energy jobs, ranking first in solar and fifth in wind…

Republican-led Texas has the most wind generation. Indeed, four rural Republican states — Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and South Dakota — generate more than 30 percent of their electricity from wind and employ together more than 9,000 people in that industry.

The Solar Energy Industries Association says that 13 of the top 25 congressional districts for solar generation are represented by Republicans…

Environmental issues and climate change polarize America and rank low among voters’ priorities. However, renewable energy, and the jobs it creates, now unite Republicans and Democrats…

Dylan Reed, head of congressional affairs for Advanced Energy Economy, says a Republican running in a swing district cannot afford to oppose clean energy when the job benefits are so widespread.

“You aren't going to win a race by running strictly on clean energy,” Reed said. “You don't have to be out there with the first shovel. But you can't be out there saying these are fake jobs."

See the complete Washington Examiner story here.







Topics: United In The News