Utility Dive | Emma Penrod The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) and Washington State Department of Commerce announced Tuesday that they adopted rules in late December to guide implementation of the state’s 2019 Clean Energy Transformation Act. Under the law, electric utilities in Washington must eliminate coal-fired power by 2025, achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, and source 100% of their energy from renewable or non-carbon emitting sources by 2045. While Washington utilities and environmental groups welcomed the overarching goals presented by the rules, disagreement about specifics remains. “We have an opportunity to finally account for climate impacts in electricity planning and acquisition of new resources,” Doug Howell, a senior campaign representative in Seattle for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, said in an email. “How we deal with this in electricity will hopefully end up applying to other sectors, [which] is why it is so important to get it right.”
Full Title: Mobilizing for a zero carbon America: A Jobs and Employment Study Report
Author(s): Saul Griffith, Sam Calisch, Alex Laskey
Publisher(s): Rewiring America
Publication Date: July 29, 2020
Full Text: Download Resource
From mass unemployment to the threat of climate change, the U.S. will face a number of seemingly unprecedented challenges even after the current public health tragedy has passed. Finding needed solutions won’t be easy and will require creative thinking, robust analysis, and political resolve. The good news is that these challenges also present opportunities, particularly in terms of the economic development and job creation associated with decarbonizing America’s economy.
Based on an extensive industrial and engineering analysis, our new report demonstrates that an aggressive national commitment to electrify all aspects of our economy would create up to 25 million good-paying American jobs over the next 15 years and 5 million sustained jobs by mid-century. This is the first analysis of the job opportunities that would result from a rapid and total decarbonization of the economy as a whole. Unlike other approaches, which tend to see climate change policy as primarily environmental in nature, the study also imagines the electrification of America as fundamentally infrastructure designed to power America and its economy in the 21st century.