Jobs are growing in the U.S. They've grown for 12 straight months under Obama's economic stimulus policies and, in 2010 alone, more jobs were added than in Bush's 8 years as president.
Oh, the lies. How many times have you heard Republicans or even the media say that climate change, clean energy, and environmental policies are job killers? How many times have you heard the claims that Obama's efforts to improve the economy aren't working? How many times have you been told that peanut butter doesn't taste good with jam? (Okay, scratch that last one, that's a matter of opinion.)
If you haven't heard yet, new data out by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2010 the economy saw an increase of 1.1 million jobs. But what is a number like that without a reference point, right? Turns out that if you look back at the same stats over the past decade, you can see that is more than the total number of jobs created in Bush's 8 years as president.
Furthermore, the 0.4% drop in the unemployment rate in December from 9.8% to 9.4% "was the steepest one-month fall since 1998." Yes, 1998, when Clinton was president.
What Clean Energy and Environmental Policies Help to Boost the Economy?
As I mentioned above, we often hear the claim that policies geared at protecting the environment will hurt the economy. But the evidence is to the contrary.
A recent report by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Estimating the Employment Impacts of Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Road Infrastructure,” finds that bicycle and pedestrian projects create about twice as many jobs as road projects per dollar spent.
As I reported last summer, a report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that $19 billion in new business and 150,000 jobs could be created from a handful of high-speed rail projects in Florida, California, the Midwest, and the Northeast.
Studies have also found that on the national scale clean energy benefits the economy [PDF] much more than dirty energy: one study has found that "the solar industry creates 5.65 jobs per million dollars in investment, the wind energy industry 5.7 jobs, and the coal industry only 3.96" and another that "wind and solar energy generate 40 percent more jobs per dollar invested." Similar findings have been found on the state level as well.
Furthermore, even environmental regulations from the EPA create more jobs and improve the economy more than they hurt it. Last year, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in its 13th annual Report to Congress, determined that aggregated annual benefits of major federal regulations are between $128 billion and $616 billion and costs are only between $43 billion and $55 billion, with estimated annual costs of clean air and water regulations ranging from $26 to $29 billion and benefits ranging from $82 to $533 billion.
Is it clear yet? Investing in clean energy and clean transportation and implementing environmentally-friendly policies help the economy.