Trump’s War on Clean Energy Has Killed Nearly 19,000 American Jobs in Pennsylvania

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 nearly 19,000 clean energy jobs in Pennsylvania.

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 18,945 jobs in Pennsylvania.

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 Pennsylvania, Trump’s failed leadership cost 18,945 clean energy jobs. This is a big hit to Pennsylvania’s economy and threatens to derail the state’s large and growing clean energy sector. The state is a national leader in rural clean jobs, providing vital opportunities for the state’s struggling rural economies.

  • Trump’s failures threaten Pennsylvania’s booming clean energy economy, which employs more than two times the number of Pennsylvania workers than the fossil fuel industry. In 2019, 1 in 3 energy jobs in Pennsylvania were clean energy jobs.
  • These losses could crush the rapid growth of clean jobs in Pennsylvania, which grew by 6% in 2018 — five times faster than overall employment growth in the state. That’s 5,000 new jobs. 
  • Rural Pennsylvania will be hit hardest by these job losses. Forty four percent of Pennsylvania’s clean energy workforce is outside of the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia metro areas.

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.