Trump’s War on Clean Energy Has Killed Over 21,000 American Jobs in North Carolina

Washington, D.C. – President Donald Trump’s ongoing war on clean energy and his bungled response to COVID-19 has cost the United States more than 1.1 million good-paying clean energy jobs, according to new analysis from Climate Power 2020, including more than 21,000 in North Carolina.

Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus has led to the worst economy since the Great Depression, and according to a new report released by E2, cost us trillions of dollars and more than 40 million jobs, including at least 514,270 clean energy jobs and 21,380 jobs in North Carolina.

Even before the pandemic started, Trump and his Republican allies waged a war on clean energy — placing additional tariffs on solar energy; slashing funding for clean energy; and changing the rules to keep aging coal plants open. These Trump policies cost the country an additional 622,000 jobs.

All told, that’s 1.1 million good-paying clean energy jobs lost due to Trump’s job-killing policies. The differences on addressing clean energy could not be more different. Today, as Vice President Biden announces an agenda to create new clean energy jobs, Trump is doubling-down on his agenda to destroy them.

Trump’s reckless handling of COVID-19 and kowtowing to fossil fuel industry CEOs has had an impact on all 50 states and Washington D.C. In North Carolina, Trump’s failed leadership cost 21,380 clean energy jobs. This is a big hit to North Carolina’s economy and threatens to derail the state’s large and growing clean energy sector.

  • In 2019, prior to the coronavirus, North Carolina led the country for clean energy jobs in rural areas, with the sector employing nearly 29,000 workers in rural areas in 2019.
  • These losses will be felt more in North Carolina than other states, where clean energy makes up 3.7% of total jobs, putting it ahead of the national average of 2.5%.
  • Trump’s failures threaten North Carolina’s standing as a clean energy leader. The state was ranked ninth among the top 10 states for clean energy employment in 2019, with the sector employing 112,720 workers.
  • In 2019, prior to coronavirus, North Carolina was home to 6,617 jobs in the solar industry and 1,001 to 2,000 direct jobs in the wind industry.

A June Pew Research Center survey found that 79 percent of adults say energy policy should emphasize the development of “alternative” sources like wind and solar. A March Climate Power 2020 survey also found that 72 percent of Republican-leaning persuadable voters think that strong climate action will be good for the economy.

Countries around the world are poised to make clean energy investments a centerpiece of their COVID-19 economic recovery plan. The United States has that same opportunity — investing in the clean energy economy would create good jobs for millions of Americans, reduce energy costs for our families, and cut pollution in our communities. Clean energy jobs pay above-average wages, offer more opportunities for low and middle-skilled workers, and have lower educational barriers to entry, even in high paying positions.

Unfortunately, Trump and his wealthy oil and gas CEO pals have shown they will continue waging their selfish war on clean energy, no matter how many American jobs are lost.