WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today is releasing its final Clean Power Plan, which will cut carbon pollution from existing power plants by more than 30 percent in part through increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"This is the most significant environmental policy we've seen in recent years, and also a huge catalyst for economic growth," said Bob Keefe, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors and others who advocate for policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment.
"States now have a blueprint for building their clean energy economy," Keefe said. "It's up to governors to put this plan into action if they want to create jobs and drive economic growth – and help their state's environment as well."
States that have the best renewable and energy efficiency policies typically create the most clean energy jobs, E2 has found after years of tracking clean energy job trends across America. Last year alone, nearly 47,000 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced across America, according to E2. For more information see www.cleanenergyworksforus.org.
By setting basic guidelines to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and increasing our use of renewable energy and energy efficiency, states that implement the Clean Power Plan with a focus on clean energy can expect to create even more clean energy jobs.
Following are statements on today's release of the Clean Power Plan from businesspeople and E2 members from across the country.
If you would like to speak with any of these business leaders, or with E2's executive director, please reach out to Patrick Mitchell or Jeff Benzak at the contact information below.
"There are 57,000 clean energy jobs in Pennsylvania – and with the Clean Power Plan, we should expect that number to grow considerably. By allowing our state the opportunity to craft better, stronger renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, we can provide the market signal businesses like mine need to keep investing in our state. This creates good jobs that can't be outsourced, cuts carbon pollution and expands our economy.
"The Clean Power Plan also gives us an opportunity to position Pennsylvania as a regional clean energy leader. As our nation's economy quickens its shift toward clean, renewable energy technologies like solar and wind – and as schools, businesses and homes use energy smarter via energy efficiency – we need to make sure Pennsylvania doesn't lose ground to neighboring states that already have stronger clean energy standards firmly in place."
--Jim Spencer, President and CEO, EverPower, Pittsburgh
"The Clean Power Plan is a big deal – and it's a good deal for Virginia's economy. The most vibrant growth area in our state's energy industry is without a doubt the clean tech sector. And the Clean Power Plan is the single-best opportunity we currently have here in Virginia to create more clean energy jobs, reduce carbon pollution and give our economy a jolt.
Virginia is most of the way – four-fifths – toward meeting the plan's carbon emission standards. And we have a decade-and-a-half to achieve the remaining fifth. The Clean Power Plan sends the strong, clear market signal Virginia's clean energy and energy efficiency businesses need to invest in their own operations, create good jobs, and help us meet these commonsense standards.
--Dr. Mary Haberl and Joseph Sanchez , co-owners of SOLARFOUR LLC, Leesburg, Va.
"Reducing carbon emissions can help grow our economy. By investing in clean-energy technologies like energy efficiency, solar and wind, we help generate more business for Midwestern manufacturers; we save companies, homeowners and schools money on their electric bills; and we create good jobs, right here in Missouri, that can't be outsourced.
"About 40,000 people already work in Missouri's growing clean energy industry. The Clean Power Plan will help create the market certainty businesses need to invest in their operations and add even more jobs."
--Paul Snider, Vice President of Policy, Brightergy, Kansas City
"Ask just about anyone in the windiest parts of Iowa and they'll tell you that renewable energy and energy efficiency create good jobs in our communities. And every day we witness the ripple effect of energy efficiency in our communities.
"While the federal Clean Power Plan is the most ambitious action our nation has ever taken to combat the rising economic costs of climate change, it actually does much more than that. By sending a strong, clear market signal to the private sector, it will give wind, solar, and energy efficiency companies the confidence they need to expand their operations and hire more workers. It will boost Iowa's existing energy efficiency efforts, improving the vitality of businesses and communities. The Clean Power Plan's built-in flexibility gives our state's leaders the opportunity to help Iowa continue to build our clean energy future."
--Emily Rice, Business Development Manager, The Energy Group, Des Moines, Iowa
"Smart policies like the federal Clean Power Plan – which will replace dirty energy from power plants with more clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency – promise to help Ohio's clean energy industry get back on track. While S.B. 310 hurt our industry, Ohio still has a strong clean energy foundation on which to build."
--Greg Smith, President and CEO, Energy Optimizers, USA, Tipp City, Ohio
"The Clean Power Plan grows our economy and protects our environment – and it achieves this in a way that's compatible with our current energy mix.
"To help meet the plan's commonsense carbon pollution standards, Gov. Rauner and state lawmakers should pass the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill. Doing so would help add to the more than 100,000 good clean energy jobs that already exist in Illinois."
--Will Kenworthy, Vice President, MicroGrid Energy, Chicago
"The Clean Power Plan is a huge opportunity for Michigan. With our successful renewable portfolio standard, we've already seen how smart energy policies can expand our economy. Strengthening our renewable energy and energy efficiency policies is a catalyst for creating more good jobs in the Midwest."
--Rachel Tronstein, President, Gardner-White Furniture Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich.
"California and the rest of the United States have a lot to gain from the Clean Power Plan. We at Carbon Lighthouse are making serious investments in clean energy efficiency, and we and many other firms have already developed multiple technologies that are cheaper than fossil fuels without subsidies. Our home state, our firm, and our clients across the U.S. are already reaping the economic benefit of being early movers on climate."
--Brenden Millstein, CEO, Carbon Lighthouse, San Francisco
"As a small-business owner and entrepreneur, this policy is a huge opportunity for Colorado companies like mine to create good jobs and implement cutting-edge energy storage and micro-grid technologies. In addition, electrification of the transportation system will yield greater benefits when the electrical grid is decarbonized through increased solar and wind power.
"The Clean Power Plan will help our homes, schools and businesses save money on their electric bills through geothermal heating and cooling, demand side management, energy efficiency and other carbon reduction measures.
"One of the most important roles in ensuring our state meets the standards will be played by Colorado's Department of Health and Environment. This agency has the experience – and the expertise – to develop a fact-based, effective implementation plan that will ultimately be a boon for our economy while protecting our environment at the same time."
--RJ Harrginton, President, Sustainable Action Consulting, Louisville, Colo.
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors and others who promote smart environmental policies that drive economic growth. Our members, active in nearly every state in the country, have built or financed more than 1,700 companies that have created more than 570,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.
SOURCE Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)