President Barack Obama recently announced new regulations for the Environmental Protection Agency that will reduce carbon emissions at power plants 30 percent by 2030. Many politicians, including Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell, are calling it a job killer, according to The Los Angeles Times. However, others have predicted that the measure will actually increase overall employment in the energy sector.
The EPA released a peer-reviewed report on the proposal that estimated that it will bring 105,000 jobs to the industry. Marketplace reported that that figure takes into account possible job losses in coal-mining and still finds a net increase from upgrades to plants and the power grid, as well as building and operating new clean energy facilities. Further, the jobs created are all local, on-site positions with no possibility of outsourcing.
A report released the Natural Resource Defense Council was even more optimistic. The release was based on a study by energy consultancy ICF International, which found that as many as 274,000 new jobs could result from the updated regulations.
Even before the new rules were proposed, employment was growing in the renewable energy market. According to The Solar Foundation, jobs in solar energy alone increased by 53 percent, or 50,000 positions, between 2010 and 2013.