EPA’s McCarthy tours states to talk benefits of cutting carbon

Before the federal government shutdown furloughed about 90 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency workforce, Administrator Gina McCarthy traveled across the country to explain how carbon pollution standards that were announced in Sept. 2013 will help local communities.

She talked about how cutting carbon pollution from power plants for the first time will help improve our air, our health – and our economy.

The states McCarthy picked for her first stops are good indicators of how clean energy is creating jobs and new opportunities and driving economic growth.

In New York, for instance, clean energy companies have announced more than 5,000 new jobs since October 2011. Residents in cities like Rochester are finding new jobs in advanced battery and solar panel manufacturing.

Michigan, the second stop on McCarthy’s road trip, is benefitting in a revitalization of the auto industry – driven in part by manufacturing tied to new auto mileage standards. More than 2,500 jobs have been announced in energy efficiency related auto companies since 2011.

In Wisconsin, meanwhile, wind energy and biomass companies are creating new jobs. Biomass businesses have announced more than 400 jobs in Wisconsin since October 2011.

As McCarthy pointed out in a speech at the National Press Club announcing the carbon standards, we don’t have to choose between a good environment and a good economy.

“The old rules may say we can’t protect our environment and promote economic growth at the same time, but in America, we’ve always used new technologies, we’ve used science, we’ve used research and development and discovery to make the old rules obsolete,” she said.

“Here in the United States, we have the knowhow, the skill and the ingenuity we need to take on climate change,” she added.

“We can, and must, turn this public health and environmental challenge into an economic opportunity.”

As we’re already seeing, clean energy projects are already creating new economic opportunities – and jobs all across America.

Smart policies like the new carbon standards promise to keep that growth going.

— Environmental Entrepreneurs

Photo credit: EPA