Shaheen, McSally Spearhead New Bipartisan Bill to Promote Jobs in Energy Workforce

September 19, 2019

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Martha McSally (R-AZ) introduced new bipartisan legislation to increase the United States’ understanding of the energy sector’s economic contributions and help build out the American energy workforce. The Senators’ bill – the Promoting American Energy Jobs Act – would require the Department of Energy (DOE) to publish an annual energy and employment report to measure energy jobs in the United States, and examine energy production and distribution sectors of the economy. The United States’ energy sector is a major economic driver; however, the DOE doesn’t currently measure job creation in this industry. Shaheen and McSally’s bill would require the federal government to more accurately account for energy jobs, such as those associated with clean energy technologies – like wind, solar and energy storage – while also counting those in various professions tied to energy efficiency. These reports will improve our understanding of the employment makeup of the energy industry, which is critical to making informed policy and business decisions that will address workforce challenges and assist in the development and deployment of energy resources.

“This bill would shed light on the energy sector and help inform the transition to a cleaner energy economy powered by renewables and energy efficiency,” said Shaheen. “Both Democrats and Republicans agree that lawmakers, industry leaders and the public should have access to reliable data on energy jobs and this is an area where we can make some headway in Congress. I’m glad to have Senator McSally as a partner on this new legislation to help drive these efforts forward.”

“When it comes to energy, I believe in an all-the-above approach,” said McSally. “That means we need to know just how many Americans are employed by the wide-ranging energy sector. Our bill would require the Department of Energy to report the number of jobs the industry sustains each year so we can understand the full economic implications of any potential energy policy.”

Specifically, the Promoting American Energy Jobs Act would:

  • Establish an Energy Jobs Council
    • Require the Secretary of Energy to establish an Energy Jobs Council tasked with publishing the annual report.
    • Instruct the Council to consult with additional federal agencies and key stakeholders in conducting the survey and analysis.
    • Establish Guidelines for Required Methodology and the Contents of the Report
      • Outline the required methodology and contents of the report in line with previous employment reports to ensure the continuation of comparable data and to avoid a report that favors one fuel source over another.
      • Ensure Public Access to the Data Collected
        • Make the annual report and the data collected widely available to the public on the Department of Energy’s website.

The Promoting American Energy Jobs Act is endorsed by numerous energy and environmental organizations, including the Alliance to Save Energy, Building Performance Association, Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Clean Energy Trust, Cooper Development Association, E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), E4TheFuture, Energy Storage Association, Environmental and Energy Study Institute, National Association of Energy Service Companies, National Association of State Energy Officials and Nuclear Energy Institute. A letter of support can be found here.

Shaheen is a champion of efforts that invest in sustainability and promote energy efficiency. Just last week, Senator Shaheen testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy in support of her bipartisan effort with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) – the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC), which would improve energy efficiency in three key sectors – buildings, industrial, and the federal government. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has also recently passed a number of Shaheen’s bipartisan energy efficiency legislative priorities, including her bill with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to promote innovation, energy efficiency and economic competitiveness of American manufacturers.

Bill text of the legislation can be found here.