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Climate law could mean 92,000 jobs in the Mountain West, think tank predicts

Wind turbines with white spinning blades are generating renewable energy. The turbines are standing in a field with blue mountains visible in the background.
Dominic Gentilcore
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Adobe Stock
Wind turbines generating renewable energy in Spring Valley in White Pine County, Nev.

A new report predicts the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate and energy provisions will create or preserve 1 million U.S. jobs., including tens of thousands in the Mountain West.

Data for Progress, a left-leaning think tank, estimated the number of jobs the climate and energy provisions in the landmark law passed last year will create or preserve from 2023 to 2032.

According to the group, the Mountain West could see nearly 92,000 jobs during that span, based on data released on Jan. 20. Colorado was predicted to see the largest share at more than 25,100 jobs, followed closely by Arizona at 24,600. Rounding out the region are Utah (11,800), Nevada (9,050), New Mexico (7,360), Idaho (6,810), Montana (4,350) and Wyoming (2,570).

Matt Mazewski, a Data for Progress fellow who co-authored the analysis, said the region will benefit from a number of the legislation’s investments.

“To increase energy efficiency and promote installation of renewable technologies in rural areas,” he said. “Theres also around half a billion dollars in the law in authorizations for climate resilience projects, for clean energy loan guarantees, electrification programs on tribal lands.”

Mazewski predicts more than half of the jobs created or preserved will be in construction and manufacturing. Other sectors positioned to see job growth include agriculture, forestry and scientific services.

According to Data for Progress, the roughly 1 million jobs that could stem from the IRA’s climate and energy provisions would contribute as much as $1.7 trillion to the nation’s gross domestic product.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist and KUNR’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter. His reporting covers issues related to the environment, wildlife and water in Nevada and the region.
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