In October 2022, the El Paso Chamber commissioned a study to identify the cost to the community should the Climate Charter pass in May 2023.
The economic impact analysis was conducted by Points Consulting of Moscow, Idaho. It was conducted in accordance with the Chamber’s mission which requires us to inform and educate our members on issues that could potentially impact their livelihoods. The findings of the study paint a dire picture. Some of the key findings from the assessment have identified that, if approved, it will cost the area 170,000 jobs, $7.9 billion in earnings, and $28.2 billion in sales by 2030. That number continues to rise by 2045, where there will be an estimated net loss of 198,000 jobs, $9.2 billion in earnings, and $32.8 billion in sales. This loss will amount to a 40.8% decrease in El Paso County’s economy, at an average loss of $38,800 in earnings per household.
Climate Change is real, and we are committed to common-sense reforms that push for a comprehensive approach to the matter. However, we must do so in a way that considers the cost to the region – especially to those whose livelihood is dependent upon jobs that would no longer exist under the passage of the proposed amendment. The study indicates that to move forward would be to abandon those that have worked in these industries for years, with no foreseeable remedy for the thousands of jobs lost. While the charter would lead to the creation of 628 green jobs, the study shows these jobs would fall short of the need to counterbalance the critical loss of work for hundreds of thousands of El Pasoans throughout our region.
The El Paso Chamber has long supported efforts for sustainability in the community. We have been actively involved in supporting the City’s efforts to electrify a variety of assets throughout the community and will continue to do so. With the passage of Proposition C, which the Chamber supported, our community is poised to lay the foundation for climate action in a well-thought-out and strategic way.
If the regional economy is to grow, and if new opportunities are to be attracted, we should strive toward sustainable business practices. But we must not do so to the detriment of our economy.
The El Paso Chamber Board of Directors will be voting at the end of the month on whether to formally oppose the Climate Charter Amendment.