Law professor talks about the economic upside to clean energy

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June 6, 2017 - 1:27pm

For those who haven’t heard, Donald Trump announced his plan to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement. But many states, including Oregon, have declared their intention to step up their level of involvement in combating climate change.

This year, the Oregon Legislature is considering a clean energy jobs proposal that would cut pollution and also provide resources to invest in sustainable infrastructure. Not only does that bode well for the future of the world, but a renewed interest in green initiatives can provide a major boost to a state’s economy, one UO law professor says.

“Over the last decade, 10 states have adopted carbon policies like the one we are considering now, and they’ve been using the proceeds from these markets to drive billions in investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, affordable and sustainable housing and other state priorities,” said Greg Dotson, of the UO School of Law. “These states are experiencing economic growth even as they cap and reduce their pollution.

“For example, a regional greenhouse gas initiative in nine Northeastern states has generated $1.3 billion in economic value and created more than 28,000 jobs thus far. These states are proving that embracing clean energy is compatible with strong economic growth.”

For more, read “Oregon energy leadership in the aftermath of federal abdication” on

Prior to joining the UO faculty, Dotson worked in Washington, D.C. focused on energy policy-making as U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman’s lead energy policy staffer and as vice president for energy policy at the Center for American Progress, where he continues to act as a senior fellow.