Clean air creates jobs, states Ceres study

Ceres, formerly known as the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies and author of the highly respected Ceres Principles, a code of corporate environmental conduct, has, in partnership with the Institute of Clean Air Companies, published a report which seeks to identify the employment implications of clean air regulation of the electricity sector.

The report, which includes a number of case studies, builds on a February 2011 report from the Political Economic Research Institute (PERI) based at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst which estimated that investments driven by EPA’s two new air quality rules would create nearly 1.5 million jobs, or nearly 300,000 jobs per year on average over the next five years.

This new study projects that the total amount of investment needed to comply with the new rules is around $94 billion. This investment would flow directly to US companies, creating both construction and manufacturing jobs. The report also claims that “Unprecedented amounts of capital sit on the sidelines in the American economy” and that America’s electric power generators have cash on their balance sheets at historic levels, ready to be invested.

While the report is perhaps not as quantitative as necessary to convince opponents of clean air regulations, it does document the year‐end cash reserves for the top 20 U.S. electric generators for the period 1995‐2010 and many of the companies ready and waiting to build new clean power plants and pollution control systems.

GallonDaily commends Ceres for producing the kind of report that helps disarm those critics that claim that the economies of developed countries cannot afford clean air rules.

The Ceres report is available at http://www.ceres.org/press/press-releases/new-study-shows-how-epa-clean-air-rules-boost-the-economy-and-create-jobs

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