Blue Green Alliance Publications Feed Blue Green Alliance Publications Feed Tue, 24 Jan 2012 05:00:00 +0000 AMPS en hourly 1 REPORT: 20 for MI: Create Quality Jobs and Reduce Pollution by Reducing Energy Use in Michigan's Schools, Hospitals, and Public Buildings Fri, 20 May 2016 07:56:19 -0500 A new proposal by the BlueGreen Alliance shows that reducing energy use in Michigan's schools, hospitals and public buildings by 20 percent will create 24,000 jobs by 2030, save $4.5 billion in energy costs, and 56,000 gigawatts of energy. This proposal recommends the implementation of a comprehensive program to achieve deep levels of energy efficiency in Michigan's schools, hospitals, and other public buildings (also known as the M.U.S.H. sector for Municipal Buildings, Universities, Schools, and Hospitals) as a venue to create quality jobs and reduce carbon pollution.

An aggressive program to reduce energy use in Michigan's schools and hospitals would create good jobs with family -upporting wages and benefits. A school and hospital energy efficiency program could provide jobs for workers vulnerable to layoffs in power plants as well as new workers seeking a stable career in the green economy. In addition, the program can support training and education for existing building staff, engaging custodial staff and other building workers in the energy savings opportunities right at their fingertips. 

TESTIMONY: BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Glas Testifies Before the House Small Business Committee Thu, 12 May 2016 09:59:04 -0500 Today, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kimberly Glas testified before the U.S. House Small Business Committee on the growing opportunities for U.S. manufacturers in the energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation, and infrastructure sectors. Glas also made five key policy recommendations to lawmakers to strengthen the continued advancement of U.S. manufacturing. The full text of the testimony is available here 

TESTIMONY: BlueGreen Alliance Testimony at Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Hearing on Clean Energy Jobs Wed, 13 Apr 2016 14:51:49 -0500 The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee held a public hearing at the Capitol on the benefit Pennsylvania’s economy could see by implementing clean-energy jobs on April 11. The hearing was co-chaired by Reps. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-Delaware, and Steve McCarter, D-Montgomery. The BlueGreen Alliance's Pennsylvania Regional Program Manager Khari Mosley was one of several experts to testify in front of a House Democratic Policy Hearing on clean energy jobs in the state. 

Read his testimony by clicking the link below. 

POLICY BRIEF: Ensuring Americans Have Access to Clean, Safe Drinking Water Thu, 10 Mar 2016 09:41:00 -0500 More than 8,000 children in Flint, Michigan, have been exposed to water contaminated by lead and other chemicals because of a decision by officials to change the source of the city’s drinking water. Aging pipes leached lead into the city’s tap water, poisoning residents and likely leading to chronic, irreversible health problems for thousands of young children there. 

Lead levels in drinking water are a continuing threat, not just in Flint, but in communities across the country. Many U.S. cities rely on water pipes that are more than a century old, on average. Every year, there are some 240,000 water main breaks in America, resulting in a loss of about 7 billion gallons of clean drinking water a day—which represents about 12 percent of treated water. This wastes energy, water, and disrupts businesses and communities. Investment in our nation’s water infrastructure is critical to public health, economy and quality of life. It will create thousands of jobs replacing and upgrading water pipes, treatment plants, storage tanks, and installing more sustainable and resilient water systems. These solutions require long-term commitment at all levels of governance, and the urgency.

View the policy brief to view our recommendations.

The audio of the call releasing this policy is available below. 

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LETTER: BlueGreen Alliance Letter to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Wed, 13 Jan 2016 06:00:00 -0500 Members of the Michigan BlueGreen Alliance sent a letter to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder urging for the State Plan to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions and bolster the state's economy. The leaders believe identifying the appropriate mix of approaches to reduce carbon emissions in the power sector that meets the state target will also bolster new and emerging sectors of the efficiency and no- and low-carbon emitting energy economy.

Taking Stock: Opportunities and Challenges in Indiana’s Natural Gas Distribution System Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:00:00 -0500 Indiana’s natural gas distribution pipeline system is a network of more than 40,000 miles of pipe that supplies homes, businesses, and communities with energy. In 2013, many of these pipes were reaching the end of their service life. Approximately 30 percent—or more than 12,000 miles—of the state’s existing distribution pipeline was installed in 1969 or earlier, and will be more than 50 years old if still in use in 2020.1 These percentages appear in line with the age of distribution pipes nationwide. 

Residents of Indiana have felt firsthand the impacts of the state’s aging natural gas distribution pipelines. For example, in November of 2002, leaks in a natural gas pipe caused explosions that destroyed three homes and injured at least four people in Lafayette. Years later, in May of 2011, a natural gas pipeline near Rockville exploded and caught fire. While no injuries were reported, 49 homes were evacuated within a one-mile area of the explosion. After the fire, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) indicated the possibility of external corrosion in a Corrective Action Order to the pipeline company. 

As part of a state-focused education and outreach project conducted throughout 2014 and 2015, the BlueGreen Alliance convened stakeholder meetings and public forums to build on existing knowledge and engage frontline gas sector workers, environmental groups, industry, and additional community stakeholders to identify challenges and opportunities facing the network of natural gas distribution pipelines in the state of Indiana. 

COP21: Statement of Principles Sun, 29 Nov 2015 17:36:00 -0500 The BlueGreen Alliance, representing many of our nation’s biggest and most impactful labor unions, environmental, conservation, and science organizations, has been active at the UNFCCC since 2008 in Bali, and since COP15 in Copenhagen has publicly called upon world leaders to come together to forge an agreement which adheres to the principles of scientific urgency, fairness, and justice. 

COP21 in Paris will be the most consequential of these meetings, and we hope will represent a turning point where the world focuses on serious action to achieve reductions in carbon pollution in line with scientific urgency and to drive investments in our people and communities that improves their livelihood. 

Solving climate change should simultaneously build resilient infrastructure, improve community health and safety, safeguard wildlife, and strengthen and create economic opportunities and sustainability for all citizens. In Paris, we have an opportunity to achieve critical progress towards securing our environmental and economic future. We offer the following five principles that we believe will achieve this comprehensive vision: 

LETTER: Labor, Environmental Leaders Call for Just Transition Language in Paris Climate Agreement Tue, 03 Nov 2015 16:00:23 -0500 Labor and environmental leaders wrote a letter to U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern to thank him for supporting inclusion of Just Transition language in negotiating text for the eventual Paris agreement, and to strongly encourage him to ensure that language remains operational in the final agreement. Broadly, the leaders expressed a collective desire for action on climate change that builds resilient infrastructure, improves community health and safety, safeguards wildlife, and strengthens and creates economic opportunities and sustainability  for all citizens. 

LETTER: BlueGreen Alliance Letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission Mon, 19 Oct 2015 13:13:00 -0500 The BlueGreen Alliance and its 15 labor and environmental partners recognize the importance of fair trade to the proper functioning of the global economy and to meeting the needs of global businesses, workers, and consumers. America’s economy depends in large part on our ability to export domestically manufactured goods to markets around the world. However, we are also deeply concerned about the potential economic and environmental impacts of international trade agreements currently being discussed and negotiated, including the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), which is the subject of this investigation. 

Too often, international trade has enabled a global race to the bottom for workers and the erosion of environmental protections. Instead of free trade, which simply removes as many tariff and non-tariff barriers as possible, the United States should be negotiating “fair trade” agreements that improve  quality of life and raise standards protecting workers, consumers, and the environment. 

In the context of the current EGA negotiations, the U.S. Trade Representative has sought to expand the list of environmental goods identified by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. However, while some of the goods identified to date are arguably beneficial to the environment, the list has grown to increasingly include a host of goods for which the connection to environmental benefit is at best tangential and, at worst, actively detrimental to the environment. 

POLICY BRIEF: America’s Energy Transition: A Case Study in the Past and Present of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Power Sector Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:42:26 -0500 America’s Energy Transition: A Case Study in the Past and Present of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Power Sector looks back at the Hatfield’s Ferry and Mitchell Power Stations shutdowns in southwestern Pennsylvania and examines the potential to take those lessons and turn them into good policies that can protect workers, build up the local economy, and ensure that no one is left behind in this energy transition. 

REPORT: Managing the Employment Impact of Energy Transition in Pennsylvania Coal Country Wed, 30 Sep 2015 13:28:00 -0500 Managing the Employment Impact of Energy Transition in Pennsylvania Coal Country examines the broader southwest Pennsylvania region and looks at four scenarios on how our energy mix will change over time—including how the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would impact the region. 

"The report shows that we’ll see net job increases in employment in energy by 2030—even in this region,” said Mick Power, membership and campaign coordinator for the US Climate Action Network and author of the report. “Renewable energy and energy efficiency create more jobs than fossil fuels, but there will be a loss in long-term operating and maintenance jobs. We need to make the right policy choices and take the right actions to ensure the jobs created are quality jobs and workers are trained in the skills needed to do them.” 

The report recommends investments in research, taking proactive steps to deal with possible job losses as part of the transition head on and honestly, ensuring that southwest Pennsylvanians obtains funds from existing sources to expand transition programs, and insisting there is a just transition for workers and communities impacted. 

TESTIMONY: Strong Methane Standards a Win for Economy, Environment Tue, 29 Sep 2015 09:59:00 -0500 Members of the BlueGreen Alliance today testified during the EPA’s Pittsburgh hearing, and afterwards held a labor roundtable on proposed standards to reduce methane emissions from the energy sector. Labor and environmental leaders testified in favor of the proposed standards, citing the need to keep workers safe, the opportunity to create quality jobs, and the impact methane has on our environment and climate.

In the testimony, Regional Program Manager Khari Mosley said, "Strong national methane standards are a win for our economy and environment. The BlueGreen Alliance thanks the EPA and the administration for their efforts to curb methane emissions. Doing so is both vital to addressing climate change and creating good jobs for American workers."

LETTER: BlueGreen Alliance Calls on Congress to Oppose Crude Oil Exports Tue, 15 Sep 2015 12:43:57 -0500 The BlueGreen Alliance sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to oppose H.R. 702, a bill that would lift the long-standing ban on crude oil exports, and arguing that lifting the export ban would not only risk undoing recent gains in America’s energy security, but would also threaten jobs, economic security, and the environment.

Instead of exporting pollution and good jobs to other countries, we need to continue to improve safety and health practices in the U.S. oil industry and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Please oppose H.R. 702, a bill to lift the crude oil export ban, because of its harmful impacts on both workers and our environment.

TESTIMONY: BlueGreen Alliance Testifies to EPA in Support of Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles Fri, 07 Aug 2015 09:34:00 -0500 BlueGreen Alliance Regional Program Manager, Tom Conway testifies on behalf of the BlueGreen Alliance on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) proposed phase 2 standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. 

LETTER: Thank you Leader Pelosi for standing up for workers on Fast Track Tue, 16 Jun 2015 14:38:39 -0500 The BlueGreen Alliance, on behalf of its 15 million members and supporters from our labor union and environmental organization members, thanks Leader Pelosi for standing up for workers and the environment by voting against fast track and supporting efforts to implement fair deals that will not lead our country on a race to the bottom. 

INFOGRAPHIC: Communications Infrastructure Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:16:00 -0500 For a lot of America, high-speed broadband Internet is something they just can’t get. A modern communications infrastructure would be a huge benefit to our economy—by creating and sustaining good jobs—and protect our environment—by wasting less energy and water and reducing the pollution that’s driving climate change.

The BlueGreen Alliance and its partners are at the forefront of the discussion of modernizing and repairing our infrastructure systems to create family-sustaining jobs, make our communities safer and healthier and reduce the pollution that’s driving climate change. And, we’re not here alone. Companies, unions, community organizations, leaders in Congress and State Legislatures around the country, and people like you pushing for a resilient and modern infrastructure are all vital to this effort.

POLICY BRIEF: Communications Infrastructure: Enabling the Clean Energy Economy Mon, 18 May 2015 13:48:00 -0500 From roads that buckle to water pipelines that burst to failing communications systems, America’s outdated and crumbling infrastructure is at the forefront of the challenges we must tackle with the utmost urgency. Our infrastructure serves as the backbone of today’s economic success and provides the path to future growth and innovation.

The BlueGreen Alliance, with its 15 national labor and environmental partners—including the Communications Workers of America (CWA)—launched Repair America, a grassroots campaign to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure to better meet the climate challenges of today and tomorrow, while building a more prosperous, clean economy. Modernizing and extending our broadband network is a critical piece of this effort.

POLICY PAPER: BlueGreen Alliance on Senate TSCA Reform, S. 697 Wed, 13 May 2015 16:59:00 -0500 Today there are 80,000 chemicals in commerce, yet EPA has limited ability to protect consumers from exposure to harmful chemicals. As Congress confronts reforms to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and America’s chemical safety policies in both the House and Senate, the BlueGreen Alliance releases its policy statement on the Senate's proposal, S. 697.

Four fundamental concerns keep prevent BlueGreen Alliance from supporting S.697, as amended:
1. The scale of the problem and the scope of S.697
2. The states’ power to protect and preemption of that power
3. Chemicals that EPA declares unsafe will still be legally available
4. New rollbacks to EPA’s ability to regulate new chemicals and uses

“TSCA is a fundamentally flawed law that needs to be reformed to protect workers, families and children from toxic chemicals, but this is not the right way to do it,” said Charlotte Brody, Vice President of Health Initiatives for the BlueGreen Alliance

POLICY PAPER: The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Mon, 27 Apr 2015 17:35:00 -0500 We applaud the latest effort at finding a bi-partisan solution to the antiquated and health-damaging current federal law regulating chemicals, we do not support S. 697 because it will not protect workers, families and children from toxic chemicals.

FACT SHEET: The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program: A Success Building the Next Generation of Technology in America Wed, 25 Mar 2015 04:14:00 -0500 The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program plays a critical role in rebuilding U.S. manufacturing and helps ensure we make the next generation of globally competitive clean transportation technology in America. These public-private  investments to date have created or saved more than 35,000 direct manufacturing jobs.

The program was created as part of the bipartisan 2007 energy bill, and has been successfully implemented across two Administrations. Today advanced manufacturing companies across the country stand to benefit from ATVM loans.

REPORT: Passenger Rail & Transit Rail Manufacturing in the U.S. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:04:00 -0500 Modern transit and passenger rail systems—like our highways and freight rail systems—are critical infrastructure for a prosperous economy and are major generators of jobs and economic growth. They also benefit our environment.

A new report from the Environment Law and Policy Center and the BlueGreen Alliance shows that in addition to these familiar benefits, transit and passenger rail systems also support extensive manufacturing businesses and jobs across the country—both in communities local to and far from the transit systems themselves.

This report—Passenger Rail & Transit Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.—mapped the transit and passenger rail manufacturing footprint and found more than 750 companies in at least 39 states manufacturing components for transit and passenger rail today.

Specifically, we found:

  • 24 facilities manufacturing and assembling rail cars or locomotives for the transit or passenger rail industries;
  • 188 facilities manufacturing major rail components or systems; and
  •  542 additional companies manufacturing sub-component, materials (such as steel, fabric and glass), infrastructure (such as track and signaling), and carrying out repair and remanufacturing for the passenger rail industry, in just two regions. Nationwide the sub-component supply chain is certainly even larger. 

The bottom line is that rail and transit manufacturing support good jobs around the country and are poised to grow. Click the link below to read the full report. 

Five Priorities for the State of the Union Fri, 16 Jan 2015 08:34:32 -0500 The State of the Union speech is a chance to hit the reset button on America’s priorities for the next year. Starting off the year right means we are all looking for new solutions to the challenges and opportunities that have been presented to us.

As the president said in last year’s State of the Union speech, “There are millions of Americans outside Washington who are tired of stale political arguments and are moving this country forward.”

The BlueGreen Alliance has outlined five priorities for 2015.

REPORT: Climate Works for All Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:46:00 -0500

Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers is an eye-opening report about the potential for creating good jobs making New York City more sustainable and resilient. 

The report brings together the best analysis, evidence, data, and policy thinking to show how New York City can tackle income inequality and climate change at the same time. It includes ten pragmatic proposals that, if enacted together, would create nearly 40,000 good jobs a year. Those proposals include:

  1. Requiring Large-Building Energy-Efficiency Retrofits
  2. Replacing Damaged NYCHA Boilers with Combined Heat and Power Units and
  3. Renewable Energy Systems
  4. Expanding the Green Jobs - Green New York Program for NYC
  5. Installing Solar Energy on the Rooftops of NYC’s 100 Largest Schools
  6. Replacing Leaking Natural Gas Lines throughout NYC
  7. Upgrading NYC’s Energy Distribution Systems by Investing in Microgrids
  8. Improving Flood Protection and Stormwater Management Infrastructure
  9. Reducing Transportation Emissions by Investing in Increased Bus Rapid Transit and
  10. Restoring Cut Train Lines
  11. Improving NYC’s Public Health System by Investing in Resilient Public Hospitals
  12. Increasing the Efficiency of Commercial Waste Hauling and Recycling Rates

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to do right by our workers and communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change by building infrastructure in a sustainable way,” said Kim Glas, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director.“Efforts to curb emissions are a good start, but there is a vast and untapped potential that exists in initiatives that mandate energy efficiency retrofits in New York’s largest buildings and replace inefficient boilers for example. Strategies like these can truly transform New York into a safer, more equitable city of the future.”

LETTER: BlueGreen Alliance Urges President to take advantage of Lima opportunities Fri, 05 Dec 2014 10:18:00 -0500 In a letter BlueGreen Alliance asked for President Obama to continue his leadership on addressing climate change and to take advantage of the opportunities presented to us in moving to a cleaner economy. Specifically, they urged national and global collaboration to develop and share best practices for a just transition for all workers. This includes financial support, social and worker protection policies and job impact data, all of which must be part of a comprehensive program for building opportunities and equity around the world.

LETTER: Comments on EPA's Proposed Rule on Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:05:00 -0500 The BlueGreen Alliance submits the attached comments in response to the EPA’s recent Federal Register Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units.