A report released Tuesday from Ceres, a coalition of institutional investors and environmental groups, said that the impending US rules regulating power plants' pollution could create almost 1.5 million jobs over the next five years.
The report, titled “New Jobs – Cleaner Air,” identifies engineering, pipefitting, and construction as industries that could get a huge boost at new EPA regulations force utility companies to invest in new capacity and pollution controls.
Republicans and a few Democrats have called the legislation irresponsible, saying the new rules could force older coal plants to close, forcing job cuts and higher prices for electricity. But Tuesday's report pointed out that investments made by companies to comply with the Clean Air Act have been beneficial to the economy, quoting statements from the US Office of Management and Budget saying that every dollar spent on compliance with the act since 1970 has generated between $4 and $8 in economic benefits.
The bottom line, according to Ceres president Mindy Lubber, is that “ clean air is a worthwhile investment.”