Mitt Romney’s energy plan, which will supposedly add four million jobs, calls for more drilling, oil and gas and little mention of renewable energy. Moving forward in this direction could have severe negative impacts on the progress this country has made in areas of wind, solar and bio energy…not just environmentally, but economically as well. Here are five reasons why Romney’s energy plan is bad for the economy:
1) Investing in renewables will create 1.7 million more jobs than investing in fossil fuel: As reported by a recent study by the Center for American Progress and the University of Massachusetts, $150 billion invested in renewables would generate 1.7 million more jobs than the same amount invested in fossil fuel extraction.
2) Fossil fuels increase our costs by $120 billion/year: The National Research Council estimates the hidden costs of burning fossil fuels for transportation and electricity generation to be about $120 billion a year, primarily relating to its effect on human health.
3) 25% renewable consumption = 297,000 new jobs/25 billion in revenue: A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that a national standard requiring utilities to obtain at least 25 percent of their power from wind, solar and bio energy by 2025 would create 297,000 new jobs, generating $13.5 billion in income for rural landowners and $11.5 billion in new tax revenues for local governments.
4) Wind Energy employs 75,000 nationwide, = 35% of new power generation. It has been reported that the wind tax break, which amounts to 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour of wind-generated electricity, has allowed wind power to compete against coal, gas and nuclear energy. Today, Iowa gets 20 percent of its electricity from wind, creating 7,000 new jobs and generating $5 billion in private investment. Romney’s vow to kill the wind tax credit would put some 37,000 jobs at risk, particularly in Midwestern states. As Romney has failed to mention, wind energy has actually represented 35% of all new generating capacity over the past 5 years, second only to natural gas, and more than nuclear and coal combined and employs over 75,000 nationwide.
5) The green economy produced 2.7 million jobs in 2010. According to a recent report, the green or clean tech economy produced 2.7 million clean tech jobs across the country in 2010. This represented 2.1% of the roughly 130 million overall non-farm payroll jobs and was up 27% from the 2.1 million jobs reported in 2003.
So when we look at Romney’s proposed energy plan, it’s clear the “green” that’s missing is not just about the environment.