Cantwell, Collins Say NYU Law Report Verifies that CLEAR Act Will Create New Energy Sector Jobs

Independent report says bipartisan climate bill will maximize incentives to invest in clean energy technology, create jobs in high-wage manufacturing, infrastructure sectors

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) said an independent study by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University Law School concluded that their bipartisan cap-and-dividend legislation will drive technological innovations and create clean-energy jobs. The report finds that the CLEAR Act would avoid large regional disparities and provide the greatest support to low-income families. Click here to see the full text of the April 2010 report, “CLEAR & the Economy: Innovation, Equity and Job Creation,” and click here to see today’s press release announcing the report from the Institute for Policy Integrity.
“A well-designed climate bill will generate economic growth and job creation, not to mention finally cure our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels,” said Senator Cantwell. “This report makes clear what Senator Collins and I have been arguing all along: That a streamlined approach to reducing carbon pollution will accelerate our transition to a clean-energy economy and will put the United States in the lead in a growing, and potentially enormous, clean energy market. I’m pleased this breakthrough report validates the principles behind the CLEAR Act in determining that a simple, equitable climate policy is also the most effective way to protect consumers, combat global warming and create new family-wage jobs.”
“This report provides further support for clean energy legislation, which has tremendous potential to generate job growth, particularly in sectors like the construction industry that have suffered as a result of the recession,” said Senator Collins. “The CLEAR Act would spur critical investments in green technology and would increase consumer spending through rebates to consumers, both of which would increase domestic economic opportunity at a time when we need it most. That is why this legislation is so important, and I will continue to work with Senator Cantwell to advance our bill.” 
The report finds that the CLEAR Act’s streamlined method of limiting carbon pollution will drive “innovation and investment in energy efficiency and clean energy (that) can help spur job growth in a number of important economic sectors, and help support promising nascent industries.” By setting an economy-wide price on carbon, the CLEAR Act will create equal incentives for greenhouse gas reduction for all economic actors, maximizing incentives to innovate and invest across all sectors. The study found that the CLEAR Act can generate jobs through the dividend it will pay to Americans based on revenue it generates from carbon fuel producers and by spurring the shift to clean energy sources. Sectors that would see job growth include construction, wind and solar power industries, and mass transit.
“These jobs will offer relatively high wages in industries that are experiencing overcapacity and unemployment. The economic incentives in the CLEAR Act will begin to mop up some of the slack in the market,” said Michael Livermore, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Integrity. “Presently unemployed construction workers will find more opportunities as green investment kicks in.”
The Cantwell-Collins Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act, which was introduced in December 2009, would set up a mechanism for selling “carbon shares” to fossil fuel producers and would return most of the resulting revenue in dividends to every American.  Under the legislation, 75 percent of the revenue would be refunded to every individual residing legally in the United States, with 25 percent going toward clean energy research and development. The legislation would achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 20 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050.
For more information on CLEAR, consult Senator Cantwell’s website.