The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to issue the final text of a regulation called the Clean Power Plan (CPP) whose purpose is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) that climate scientists say are causing global warming.

There is already considerable controversy surrounding the CPP — and jobs and workers are at the core of that controversy.  House Appropriations subcommittee chairman Ken Calvert (R-Calif) said what he described as “the president’s new energy tax” as “yet another attack on the household costs and wages of American workers.”  The White House says the plan will create “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

The Labor Network for Sustainability has produced a briefing paper for trade unionists called  “The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Jobs, and Labor” to help trade unionists understand and take informed action to help shape the CPP. The paper is based on the EPA’s “regulatory impact analysis” of job and other effects of the CPP and a just-released analysis by Dr. Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), “A Comprehensive Analysis of the Employment Impacts of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

It finds that:

  • The overall effect of the CPP will be to increase total jobs by about 360,000 through 2020.
  • The CPP will continue to increase jobs through 2030.
  • The CPP represents only a small proportion of the jobs that could be created by climate protection programs in the future.
  • The CPP will result in 12,600 fewer coal mining jobs and 11,633 electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution jobs in 2020.
  • Public policy can and should protect the livelihood of workers adversely affected by the plan.
  • Unions can help shape state CPP plans in ways that encourage job growth, protect displaced workers, enhance environmental justice, and protect the climate protection.

The Labor Network for Sustainability was founded in 2009 based on an understanding that long-term sustainability cannot be achieved without environmental protection, economic fairness, and social justice. LNS helps workers and environmentalists engage in order to help our society address the deepening crises of climate and inequality. LNS believes we all need a livelihood and we all need a livable planet.