Did you know the new Biden administration is committed to investing in zero-net carbon technologies as the country transitions to 100 percent renewable energy for electricity generation 2035 and overall net-zero emissions by 2050? With 3 million people employed in today’s clean energy market, achieving these goals could mean more than 10 million more energy jobs to support the initiative, something we at FootBridge have our eye on. According to Joe Biden’s website, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources would include small modular nuclear reactors, zero net energy buildings, and decarbonization. However, how soon this will happen is yet to be seen, as some challenges are on the horizon.
For instance, the Biden investment in green energy jobs may be stilted by Congress as the president would need total democratic support and possibly even some republicans as well. Additionally, holding up approval could be the new COVID-19 stimulus relief package. Plus, while clean energy initiatives are good for the environment, they also mean lost energy jobs such as those seen with the Keystone XL pipeline and other rural towns that rely on fossil fuels to support their economy.
CNN reported that “For every direct job lost in a power plant or mining, the community loses four indirect jobs,” This, according to Heidi Binko, executive director of the Just Transition Fund, which has been working on projects in coal communities since 2015. The same article points out that as traditional fossil fuel positions make way for the new, greener initiatives, there will be room for former workers to take on jobs, including those needed to repair damage caused by strip mines and oil wells.
Energy Job Reports
Additionally, in January 2021, there was a 60-day moratorium placed on new oil and gas leases on federal land, which according to The American Petroleum Institute (API), if a ban is made permanent, would cost 18,000 jobs in Colorado, 33,000 in Wyoming, and 62,000 in New Mexico by next year. Whether or not a permanent ban would happen is yet to be seen, but oil and gas companies are preparing for changes.
We also saw that the Brookings Institution released a report on how renewable energy jobs can uplift fossil fuel communities that heavily rely on these resources for income. Although considered political, “many fossil fuel hubs are ideal sites for renewable energy production. In total, a quarter of the counties in the U.S. with the greatest potential for both wind and solar electricity are also fossil fuel hubs,” the report states.
It’s a similar perspective as to what we’ve said before about transitioning workers from hard-hit COVID-19 industries such as automotive, restaurant, retail, and hobbyists to manufacturing. So far, we do not see a tremendous impact on traditional energy jobs’ availability – and continue to work with a wide range of energy firms who need talent. For a list of our open positions, check out our job search page. On a side note, energy jobs pay 25 percent more than the national median wage earnings.
For a complete list of energy job openings, search the FootBridge job search page. We’re always hiring!