New EPA Rules to Create 1.5M Green Jobs Within 5 Years

A new report ? “New Jobs?Cleaner Air: Employment Effects under Planned Changes to EPA’s Air Pollution Rules,” prepared by Dr. James Heintz of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst – and released by Ceres – finds infrastructure investment driven by air pollution rules being proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the electric
power sector will bring economic benefits and jobs across much of the United States, concentrated especially in the next five years.

The new report evaluates job impacts under two Clean Air Act rules expected to be finalized in 2011:

  • Clean Air Transport Rule: Focuses on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from 31 targeted states in the East and Midwest.
  • Utility MACT: For the first time, sets limits on hazardous air pollutants such as mercury, arsenic, lead and hydrochloric acid.

Job Creation


  • Based on recent estimates that the power sector will invest almost $200 billion total in capital improvements over the next five years, total employment created by these capital investments is estimated at 1.46 million jobs, or about 290,000 jobs on average in each of the next five years.
  • Installing modern pollution controls and building new power plants creates a wide array of skilled, high?paying installation, construction and professional jobs, as well as jobs at companies that manufacture pollution controls and other required construction/maintenance equipment.
  • Among the states that will see the biggest job gains from this construction activity are Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, North Carolina and Indiana.

Broad Support


  • "Americans can expect significant economic gains from implementing these new EPA rules in the form of highly?skilled, well?paying jobs that will help us clean up and modernize the nation’s power plant fleet. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs will be created in each of the next five years – a welcome boost as the country recovers from a severe economic downturn." said Mindy S. Lubber, President of Ceres.
  • "Now is the time to give Americans the clean, healthy air they deserve by putting American workers back on the job modernizing our electric generating fleet. The design and construction of pollution controls require engineers, skilled craft labor such as boilermakers, and create upstream and downstream employment and economic benefits for a variety of industries and the communities where they are located." said David Foerter, Executive Director of the Institute of Clean Air Companies.

Download the Report