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Brown Says News Report Emphasizes Need to Pass Clean Energy Bill That Invests in Manufacturing

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today joined labor and environmental leaders to unveil a new report on climate change legislation and jobs. The report -- with a state-by-state and industry breakdown -- shows that industries supporting more than 4 million jobs could be at risk unless Congress maintains the competitiveness of energy-intensive, trade-sensitive manufacturers in any climate change legislation.

"We need to maintain a level playing field for American manufacturing," Brown said. "For a clean energy bill to be successful, it must also be a jobs bill. Done right, efforts to reduce carbon emissions can revitalize our nation's manufacturing base to create new clean energy jobs. But that means a bill that invests in the economic competiveness of domestic manufacturing and prevents jobs from moving to countries with weaker environmental standards."

Climate Change Policy: Border Adjustment Key to U.S. Trade and Manufacturing Jobs, the report released today by the Economic Policy Institute, identifies the most vulnerable U.S. manufacturing industries in terms of carbon intensity, and details the extent of employment in these industries and their supply chains in each of the 50 states.

The top ten most energy-intensive industries (in terms of carbon emissions) are steel, pulp and paper, basic chemicals, nonmetallic mineral products, petroleum refining, glass, clay, textiles mills, cement, and aluminum production. When combined, these industries employed 1.2 million workers in 2006 and emitted 813 million tons of carbon. Approximately 1.7 million manufacturing jobs are supported by production in these industries. In total, more than 4.1 million jobs are supported by these carbon-intensive industries. These industries have also been undermined by unfair trade agreements, with imports exceeding 15 percent of domestic output for seven of them.
These industries employ more than 195,000 Ohioans -- representing around 3.6 percent of the state's jobs.
The report found that climate change legislation that creates a level playing field for American manufacturing could create more than one million new jobs in the two years following passage, with millions more in the following years.

Robert Scott, Economic Policy Institute senior economist and author of the report; Leo Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers; Scott Paul, Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing; and Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club joined Brown on the call today.

Recently described as "Congress's leading proponent of American manufacturing," Brown has been working with his colleagues to ensure climate change legislation invests in the competitiveness of American manufacturing and provides support to the regions, industries, and consumers that would be most affected by the legislation. In August, Brown led a group of ten U.S. senators in sending a letter to President Barack Obama on the need to maintain a level playing field for American manufacturing in any climate change legislation. The senators expressed their support for a border adjustment mechanism and other initiatives that would ensure the future competiveness of U.S. manufacturing. Brown's Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009, which was included in the House-passed change legislation, would help transform former auto suppliers and other small and mid-sized manufacturers to begin to produce clean energy technologies.

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