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Energy researchers say in a recent report, “Mobilizing for a Zero-Carbon America,” that, “rapid and total decarbonization” of the US economy would triple the size of the electric grid and replace almost every fuel-burning machine with an electric one. An all-out effort to decarbonize would create 25 million US jobs, addressing both climate change and the unemployment brought about by the coronavirus. These jobs would be distributed geographically and difficult to offshore. US Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited in the report show that the US energy industry now employs about 1.8 million people, 2.7 million if gas station employees are counted. The primary writer of the report, Saul Griffith, wants the report to provide a missing piece for a clean-energy transition, that is, “What could be gained from a clean-energy revolution, including jobs?” Advocates need to know what is possible. Griffith, a MIT PhD graduate, has started a dozen successful businesses in robotics, manufacturing and solar power (Energywire, June 4, 2015). The report expects a doubling of the US nuclear fleet, tripling or quadrupling of our electric grid capacity, and $3 trillion of new government funding to bring about the decarbonization goal. Griffith stated that the plan requires no new technology breakthroughs, nor early retirement of any coal or natural gas plants, nor any changes in consumer behavior. The report’s assumptions are likely to draw disagreement from many energy experts, according to E&E News. This optimistic view considers energy transition as the opportunity to create both massive employment and cheap energy, in contrast to the “scarcity mindset” that has shaped US energy policy since the 1970s. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s energy plan calls for eliminating emissions from the electric grid by 2035. This report calls for eliminating emissions not only from the grid, but from most of the economy, including transportation, industry and buildings by 2035. Some express doubt. E&E News quotes an American Petroleum Institute (API) executive who finds the timeline “aggressive” and very difficult to achieve. He points, as an example, to the role natural gas plays in balancing out the grid, a problem he said this plan does not address. To accomplish the plan would require lots of grid expansion, and millions of miles of upgraded and new distribution capacity to serve everyone. The report has organizational backers, Rewiring America. Rewiring America’s proposal requires electrifying nearly everything by its next generation. The report expects this replacement to cut the nation’s overall energy demand by more than half, because electric machines are typically more efficient than machines they would replace, which rely on combustion. Industries that cannot be electrified would not be powered by fossil fuels. The report points to solar and wind farms, and the US nuclear fleet, as power sources for making synthetic fuels for these needs. The report projects that an electrified, zero-carbon economy would provide a $1,000 to $2,000 a year saving for US households. E&E News: Report: ‘Total decarbonization’ would create 25M jobs