Clean-Energy Investment Could Boost Arkansas Economy, Reports Say

Several environmental and energy groups released reports Thursday that detail what clean energy and climate legislation moving through Congress could mean for the state.

The new data show that a $1.3 billion investment in clean energy would create 18,000 new jobs in Arkansas; a $332 million investment in Little Rock would create 3,707 jobs; and a $304 million investment in Arkansas's 4th Congressional District would create 3,435 jobs.

Both of the complementary reports prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Center for American Progress, Green For All, and the Natural Resources Defense Council outline how investment in a clean-energy economy will produce significant economic and job creation benefits.

"These reports show that investing in the clean-energy economy will create new jobs right here in Arkansas and provide opportunities for lower-income families," said Mina Collins, president of a new organization called Growing Up Green. "We can create jobs while we reduce global warming pollution and cut our dependence on foreign oil."

"It's clearer than ever that investment in a clean energy economy will create pathways to prosperity for millions of Americans, especially in low-income communities," said Matthew Petty, an alderman at Fayetteville. "Moving to clean energy can be a driving force for economic growth and protecting the environment."

One of the reports, "Green Prosperity: How Clean-Energy Policies Can Fight Poverty and Raise Living Standards in the United States," said investment in clean energy will produce a total of 3,707 jobs in Little Rock of which more than 1,800 would be for workers with high school degrees or less.

Investment in clean energy in Arkansas' 4th Congressional District would produce a total of 3,435 jobs, of which over 1,900 jobs would be for workers with high school degrees or less, the report said.

This investment will also significantly contribute to improvements in energy efficiency in buildings and homes, lowering overall energy costs for consumers and especially benefiting lower-income households. These savings could be as high as 4 percent of household incomes for some families.

Moving to clean energy would also improve public transportation, especially in urban areas, which could lead to an average reduction in living costs by 1 to 4 percent per family. In the Little Rock metropolitan area and the 4th Congressional District, homeowners and renters could save up to 3 percent of their income through improvements in energy efficiency, the report said.

For the full reports, national data, state and regional fact sheets, go to:,, and