Rogers, head of America's third-largest electric utility, joined Obama and leaders from the U.
S. energy, environment and labor sectors to discuss the role of climate change legislation in stimulating new energy technologies and jobs.
"This country needs major investments in new energy technologies, including clean coal, advanced nuclear, wind, solar, smart grid and energy efficiency," Rogers said. "The sooner we pass climate change legislation, the more rapidly Duke Energy and other electric utilities can make these investments and create jobs."
Rogers pointed to one example that is already under way. At its Edwardsport coal gasification project in central Indiana - the largest project of its kind in the world and one that could demonstrate carbon capture and sequestration technologies - more than 1,000 construction workers are on site.
In upstate South Carolina and southern Ohio, the company is proposing to build the next generation of nuclear power plants, the type of power plant that operates around the clock with no greenhouse gas emissions.
"The U.S. produces more nuclear energy than any other country, and nuclear accounts for more than 70 percent of our nation's carbon-free electricity," Rogers said. "Investing in new nuclear can be a major growth engine for our economy and also bring dramatic long-term environmental benefits."
According to industry estimates, building a new nuclear plant can result in the creation of 1,400 to 1,800 high-paying jobs during construction, with peak employment of more than 2,400. Operating a new plant requires approximately 700 permanent jobs that pay about 40 percent more than the national average.
"I applaud President Obama and Congress for their efforts to act on climate legislation as soon as possible," Rogers said. "Many more jobs can be created, and we stand ready to move ahead on all fronts."