As the Trump administration gets to work undoing many of the previous administration’s environmental progress, the best weapon for battling climate change in the U.S. may be jobs, analysts say.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the U.S. wind and solar industries employ more than 300,000 people. Right now, America’s solar industry employs nearly 209,000 workers, compared to about 150,000 jobs remaining in the domestic coal industry. In the wind energy sector, jobs have increased 20 percent since 2015.
Leaders of these industries say the rural areas that missed out on economic growth under the Obama administration are now benefiting from the expansion of clean energy. A study published in the the journal, Energy Economics, found that the growth of solar-related employment could absorb coal-industry layoffs and provide full-time positions for coal workers throughout the next 15 years. Additionally, after retraining, salaries for technical workers in the solar industry would surpass the money they made working in coal, the study found.
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