Moniz, states to release report abandoned by Trump

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, December 4, 2017

A group led by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and the National Association of State Energy Officials plans to produce a key energy jobs report left in limbo by the Trump administration.

Moniz’s Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and NASEO said today they would release next spring the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report. DOE used to issue the document to provide details on clean energy jobs and trends not otherwise available.

In October, the report contractor, BW Research Partnership, said it didn’t know whether the $1 million annual project was “alive or dead” for 2018 because of uncertainties about the DOE budget (Energywire, Oct. 4).

Philip Jordan, a BW vice president, said there was no choice but to move forward without DOE because of the need to collect information in the third quarter of this year.

The report is also a major project for his small company, he said. “We couldn’t take the business risk in waiting anymore,” Jordan said.

Jordan said DOE blamed the budget process in explaining why money was not available. He said it was unclear whether the agency’s decision was permanent.

“I don’t think they know whether they want to do [the report] ever again,” Jordan said.

DOE did not respond to a request for comment. The agency released versions of the report in 2016 and 2017. This year’s study found energy and efficiency sectors added 300,000 jobs, or about 14 percent of the U.S. total.

“Without the USEER, we couldn’t tell how many people are employed by new technologies that cut across current [Bureau of Labor Statistics] occupational codes, nor how many people are actually employed by our traditional utilities as their business models evolve,” said David Foster, a distinguished associate with EFI who worked on earlier DOE reports. He will guide the 2018 version.

NASEO and EFI are raising money from foundations and states for the analysis, promising an “expanded offering” of energy jobs data in the future.

They will tap into existing BLS information, and BW Research Partnership will collect and assess additional records through employer surveys.

Moniz launched EFI this summer, saying at the time the nonprofit would produce reports on “deep decarbonization pathways” (Greenwire, June 21).