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President Biden plans to create 10 million clean energy jobs, but he'll need political support to do it.
STEPHANIE SANDOVAL: The Biden administration says jobs will fix the climate crisis.
JOE BIDEN: Our plans are ambitious, but we are America. We're bold.
STEPHANIE SANDOVAL: President Biden says his plan will require retraining thousands of people to retrofit housing, build solar panels, wind turbines, and more. His goal-- 10 million clean energy jobs. Many of the workers filling those jobs would come from the hundreds of thousands who currently work in the fossil fuel industry.
ROBERT E. SCOTT: We've lost 10 million jobs in the COVID-19 recession. We need to make those jobs up.
STEPHANIE SANDOVAL: The president has proposed a $2 trillion climate plan over the next four years, but it's probably only the tip of the iceberg.
ROBERT E. SCOTT: The Biden plan is just a down payment on a conversion to clean energy products. It's going to take about 30 years, by the best estimates I've seen. It gets spending ramped up, but we're going to have to increase it further and sustain it over that 30 year period in order to get the conventional energy supplies out of our economy.
STEPHANIE SANDOVAL: Right now, the United States depends on fossil fuels for about 80% of its energy. Studies have shown that burning coal, crude oil, or natural gas can produce large amounts of carbon dioxide, trapping heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming, a sign of human-caused climate change.
BOB CASEY: We have to do something about it. And that it is literally a threat to human life.
STEPHANIE SANDOVAL: Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat, supports Republican initiatives to continue fracking, a major industry in his home state of Pennsylvania.
Do you think it will be possible for people to transition from working in fossil fuel to renewable energy?
BOB CASEY: It's going to require a determined effort to provide people the opportunity and the training.
KELLY ARMSTRONG: Everybody understands we need to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet.
STEPHANIE SANDOVAL: Congressman Kelly Armstrong's family has devoted their entire livelihood into the oil and gas industry.
KELLY ARMSTRONG: The reality is, is these jobs don't exist. We need energy. We have to have it. And to say that we can do it all with solar and wind under current technologies is just simply not true.
This is how we build out the system.
STEPHANIE SANDOVAL: Meanwhile, the demand for solar power has been on the rise.
CHES HEITMEYER: I know a lot of those guys that were on the pipelines, and they are hard, hard workers. And that's exactly what we need in this industry.
STEPHANIE SANDOVAL: The bottom line, America needs to invest before it can run on just renewable energy.
ROBERT E. SCOTT: We're not going to eliminate the oil and gas industry, for example, overnight. Those jobs will still be there. We will still need these fuels in the transition.
STEPHANIE SANDOVAL: Stephanie Sandoval, Newsy.