The past few months have been an uphill battle for the great people of West Virginia. As proud leaders in the energy sector, hundreds of thousands of people have felt the effects of a shuttered economy brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
As our nation starts to rebuild, West Virginia’s diverse energy workforce must not be overlooked as a crucial component to this post-pandemic recovery, which includes getting the clean energy industry back to work.
Before the coronavirus, more than 3.3 million Americans were employed in the clean energy jobs, making up more than 40 percent of America’s entire energy workforce. In the course of three months after the coronavirus hit, over half of 1 million clean energy jobs were lost.
Today, it’s being projected that the clean energy sector could lose about a quarter of its workforce, which equates to 850,000 jobs, by the end of the second quarter, without action to support the industry. These jobs losses have major effects on other sectors from construction to transportation and beyond.
As Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., consider a path forward in response to the pandemic, the entire energy industry, including clean energy, must be part of the conversation. Local job creators in West Virginia and across the nation are relying on a pro-growth framework to get clean energy workers back on the job so they can build a better, brighter future for themselves and millions of Americans.
At the end of the day, America’s energy workers play a critical role in putting our economy back on a path toward becoming more competitive, innovative and built for growth. By working together across all industries, we can create a more resilient tomorrow.
Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson