Passing climate change legislation will help the energy industry invest in clean energy and provide more jobs, Duke Energy has announced.

At a White House meeting with President Obama, Duke CEO Jim Rogers said the US needs major investment in new energy technologies, including clean coal, nuclear and smart grid.

“The sooner we pass climate change legislation, the more rapidly Duke Energy and other electric utilities can make these investments and create jobs,” Rogers said.

Nuclear energy accounts for more than 70% of the US’s carbon-free electricity, while each nuclear plant creates thousands of jobs.

Senators negotiating a climate change bill on 10 December unveiled the broad outlines of their plan to combine greenhouse gas limits with more nuclear power, expanded offshore drilling, and protection for refiners.