Labor and the Clean Power Plan: More Jobs, More Justice

By Dean Hubbard and Alejandra Nunez, National Law Review.

It goes without saying that the release of the Clean Power Plan was celebrated by the environmental community and media coverage nearly bursted at the seams. It’s a major win in the fight against climate disruption, has strong legal underpinnings, and provides clear pathways for states to address their carbon pollution. What wasn’t covered as heavily, however, are the compelling aspects of the policy that will help workers, especially those in vulnerable communities.

While crafting the final version of the Clean Power Plan, the Obama Administration took the time to meet with unions, economic justice advocates, and their environmental allies to hear their concerns and suggestions, and based on what was released in August, the administration listened.   

The final Clean Power Plan is structured to create thousands of new jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency, and includes incentives to create good jobs in vulnerable communities as well.  It recommends robust standards to ensure that the new jobs lead to quality careers and contains vital protections for coal workers and other communities affected by the shift away from fossil fuels.