Win, lose or draw, here's one nonpartisan issue on which Republicans and Democrats alike should agree: Clean energy works for America.
Many of the Republicans elected Tuesday hail from states that lead the country in clean energy. In fact, a new report out by my organization, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), shows just how nonpartisan clean energy is.
E2's quarterly Clean Energy Works For Us jobs report shows that more than 18,000 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in 21 states between July and September of this year.
Put these job announcements on a map John King/CNN-style, and you'll see that clean energy knows no political boundaries. See for yourself here.
According to our latest report, both Republican and Democratic congressional districts benefitted from clean energy job announcements in the quarter.
Republican-led districts had the most job announcements in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other clean energy industries.
Our analysis shows that about 9,100 jobs were announced in Republican congressional districts in the third quarter, compared with about 7,700 jobs announced in districts represented by Democrats. About 1,250 job announcements spanned both Republican and Democratic districts.
This isn't a new trend. Looking back at clean energy projects announced throughout last year, about 124 were in Republican-led congressional districts. That's the exact same number - 124 - announced in Democratic districts last year.
In the third quarter of this year, top states for clean energy jobs include many of the states where the GOP won big on Tuesday night. For instance:
COLORADO: More than 1,300 clean energy jobs - many at major projects owned by wind turbine manufacturer Vestas - were announced in Colorado in the third quarter of this year, making the state No. 4 in the country. Republican Sen.-elect Cory Gardner must realize the importance of clean energy in his state; if nothing else his political ads featured him walking through fields of wind turbines.
NORTH CAROLINA: Despite attempts in the Republican-led state legislature to roll back basic renewable energy standards, North Carolina was No. 5 in clean energy jobs in the third quarter, mainly from its continued surge in solar power. Sen.-elect Thom Tillis, who was Speaker of the N.C. House, will hopefully remember the importance of good clean energy policies when he joins Congress in January.
MICHIGAN: No. 6 in clean energy jobs in the third quarter, the GOP retained the governor's mansion in Michigan and took over the state House. It also elected Democrat Sen.-elect Gary Peters and re-elected Republican Rep. Dan Benishek. Nearly 700 clean energy jobs were announced in Michigan at projects ranging from solar panel factories in Saginaw to wind farms along the Great Lakes to a biofuel operation at the decommissioned K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base near Marquette.
NEVADA: Home to newly re-elected GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval - as well as outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - Nevada led the country in clean energy job announcements in the third quarter. Mainly, it's because the state - which also re-elected two Republicans to the U.S. House, worked hard to land one of the biggest clean energy job projects ever: Tesla Motors' "gigafactory" that is expected to create 6,500 new jobs.
From solar farms in North Carolina to clean car plants in Nevada, what we're learning is that any politician who truly cares about putting Americans to work and helping our economy ought to support smart clean energy policies at both the state and federal level.
No matter what their political party happens to be.
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