It would be an understatement to say that a lot has happened in the news since our last news roundup – but we’re here to provide our take on some of the most important energy news over the past two weeks. This week, we’ll discuss a recent decision by the Supreme Court impacting carbon emissions and a report from the Department of Energy (DOE) about energy jobs.
Supreme Court ruling limits EPA’s ability to restrict carbon emissions
The Supreme Court has frequently made headlines over the past few weeks, with a major ruling this week centering around the energy industry. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court decided yesterday to limit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s ability to restrict carbon emissions from power plants. According to the New York Times, the decision means that the EPA’s power in regulating the energy industry will now be limited to “measures like emission controls at individual power plants and, unless Congress acts, rul[es] out more ambitious approaches like a cap-and-trade system.”
Importantly, this decision comes amid calls from scientists and the Biden administration to act quickly in mitigating the effects of climate change. The three justices in dissent stated the Court had taken away the EPA’s “power to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.”
DOE report shows fossil fuel jobs on the decline, clean energy jobs on the rise
Earlier this week, the Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2022 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER), which it publishes annually to report on public labor statistics surrounding the energy industry. The coal and petroleum fuel industries took some of the largest hits, shrinking by about 12 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Among the fossil fuel industry, the only sector that demonstrated growth was natural gas, rising by 1.6 percent.
As a whole, the energy industry saw growth: jobs increased 4 percent between 2020 and 2021. Much of this growth is due to the expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) industry, which rose a whopping 26 percent in 2021! Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm explained that over 40 percent of job growth in 2021 occurred in “net-zero aligned areas,” showing significant progress towards a clean energy future.