More than 2 million jobs could be created in the 35 states across the U.S. that currently have renewable portfolio standards (RPS) policies in place, according to a new Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis.
However, the upcoming elections endanger the progress states have made with their clean energy and climate policies due to a number of conservative candidates who have challenged RPS or denied the reality of global warming, the organization adds.
The six states most at risk of losing the potential to create new jobs through their existing RPS policies include Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota and Oklahoma, where there are tight races featuring candidates who oppose actions for clean energy reform. In Maryland, Ohio and Illinois, the conservative gubernatorial candidates have made it clear they do not support RPS policies. In Kansas, Minnesota and Oklahoma, the candidates have professed themselves to be highly skeptical of the existence of global warming and the corresponding need to pass policies to move to a lower-carbon future.
In these six states with the most at-risk RPS, more than 445,000 construction-phase jobs (full-time equivalent, for one year) are at stake, as are over 6,000 permanent jobs, according to the analysis.