Blue Green Alliance Publications Feed Blue Green Alliance Publications Feed Tue, 24 Jan 2012 05:00:00 +0000 AMPS en hourly 1 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.

REPORT: Making the Grade: How Investments in America’s Infrastructure Benefit Our Economy and Environment Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:30:00 -0500 Making the Grade report cover

Our innovative report shows that repairing America’s infrastructure could create 2.7 million jobs across the economy and increase the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $377 billion, while reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions and better protecting communities from the impacts of climate change. 

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases a report card depicting the condition and performance of America’s infrastructure across a number of sectors of the U.S. economy, the latest being the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Unfortunately, America consistently gets barely passing grades and our infrastructure systems are in dire need of modernization. In 2013, ASCE gave the nation’s infrastructure a grade of “D+,”  which is a slight improvement over previous “D” grades, and estimated that to get to a grade of “B” would require an investment of $3.6 trillion over the next seven years. It also showed that the gap between planned infrastructure investment and the amount required to achieve a good state of repair is currently an estimated $1.6 trillion dollars.   

This report delves into the economic impacts of closing that gap by accelerating infrastructure investment—using current financing approaches—to achieve a “B” grade over the next 10 years. Making these investments now will pay big dividends making our country more efficient and in reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change. Such an endeavor would accrue significant sustainability benefits across the economy. For each of the sectors examined in the ASCE Report Card, accelerated infrastructure investment could help achieve the following environmental benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Saving nearly 5.7 billion gallons of fuel and averting the carbon dioxide equivalent of 48 million metric tons per year over the next decade by supporting the current trajectory of transit ridership. Currently, transit ridership levels save the equivalent energy of the gasoline used by more than 7.2 million cars a year—nearly as many cars as are registered in Florida, the fourth largest state;
  • Reducing climate change pollution by an equivalent of 225,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide for each 5 percent reduction in leaks from drinking water systems;
  • Helping to reduce power plant emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels over the next three decades by investing in more efficient power plants and the electrical grid; and
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 million tons of carbon educing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 million tons of carbon dioxode—equivalent to the carbon pollution emissions of six million U.S. households—for each 5 percent reduction in the amount of solid waste Americans generate.

Stimulating the economy, creating jobs, fighting climate change, and improving our communities—now and for generations to come—are all good reasons to prioritize infrastructure investment.

LETTER: BlueGreen Alliance Urges the Administration to Adopt a National Methane Reduction Strategy Fri, 10 Oct 2014 09:59:00 -0500 The BlueGreen Alliance urged President Obama to adopt a strong methane reduction strategy in order to advance the U.S. Climate Action Plan and meet the administration’s target of reducing the nation’s global warming pollution 17 percent by 2020.  

REPORT: Minnesota Natural Gas Distribution Profile Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:26:00 -0500 Minnesota’s natural gas distribution pipeline system is a network of more than 30,000 miles of pipe that supply homes, businesses, and communities with energy. Repairing aging and leak prone natural gas pipelines has the potential to create and support quality, family-sustaining jobs and drive investment toward a more resilient pipeline system.

As of 2012, the Minnesota had 512 miles of distribution pipelines made from leak prone materials: 430 miles of bare steel pipeline, 53 coated unprotected steel, and 30 cast/wrought iron. In 2012 there were 646 leaks reported in the state of Minnesota. 

This profile examines the natural gas distribution system of Minnesota and examined efforts to repair leak-prone pipes within the system. 

Repair America Panel Discussion in Grand Rapids, MI Mon, 08 Sep 2014 15:07:00 -0500 As an advisor on President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, Mayor George Heartwell is already helping to lead the way on how communities prepare for climate change. Come join this discussion about spurring growth in clean energy and energy efficiency, upgrading our infrastructure to be
prepared for climate impacts, and the need to reduce carbon pollution that is driving our climate to change.

Featured Speaker Susan Hedman, EPA Region 5 Administrator

Panel discussion to follow:
• Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell
• D. Michael Langford, National President, Utility Workers Union of America
• Anne Woiwode, Michigan Chapter Director, Sierra Club
• Mike Williams, Vice President for Development and Corporate Initiatives, BlueGreen Alliance

Wednesday, September 17 at 2:00 p.m.
Grand Valley State University
Old Bicycle Factory, 2nd Floor
201 Front Ave., SW, Grand Rapids, MI
Event parking is available in the Watson parking lot

TESTIMONY: Representatives of the BlueGreen Alliance on the EPA's Clean Power Plan at the Pittsburgh, PA Hearing Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:59:00 -0500 Three representatives of the BlueGreen Alliance will testify today during the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s hearing on the Clean Power Plan—a proposal to put the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants—in Pittsburgh, PA. Their testimony will show that the proposed Clean Power Plan—an integral component of the president’s Climate Action Plan—is a significant step forward in tackling the root causes of climate change. 

Click the links below to see the as-prepared testimony of the BlueGreen Alliance's Executive Director Kim Glas and Regional Program Managers Lee Geiss and Khari Mosley at the Pittsburgh, PA hearing. 

TESTIMONY: The BlueGreen Alliance on EPA’s Clean Power Plan Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:05:00 -0500 The BlueGreen Alliance supports the EPA’s authority to limit carbon pollution from power plants. We are pleased that this proposed rule permits each state to craft a compliance plan that is tailored to the specifics of its local and regional economy; that will protect existing jobs while reducing emissions; and that can create opportunities to grow new jobs, encourage investment, and jumpstart new technologies. 

This proposal can be a significant step forward, if we all engage to develop and implement it. 

There were three points emphasized by Executive Director Kim Glas at a hearing on the Clean Power Plan held in Washington, D.C. on July 29, 2014: 

First, the proposed rule sets reasonable targets for reducing carbon pollution that the final rule should retain. 

Second, the proposal’s flexible compliance approach is essential to its success. 

Third, community and workforce stability and development should be integral elements of any carbon reduction strategy. 

We at the BlueGreen Alliance applaud the EPA for moving forward on addressing the threat of climate change. And we look forward to working in states to develop well-crafted implementation plans that achieve these goals. 

View the as-prepared testimony by clicking the link below.

REPORT: Interconnected – The Economic and Climate Change Benefits of Accelerating Repair and Replacement of America’s Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:56:00 -0500 Repairing the system of distribution pipelines that deliver natural gas to homes and businesses offers an opportunity to drive significant investment in our economy. Doing so will help to fix a critical part of our aging infrastructure while creating jobs and cutting global warming pollution—a winning proposition for both the environment and the economy. 

While the repair and replacement of natural gas distribution pipes is underway in many parts of the country, the nation won’t see an overhaul of the estimated 9 percent of distribution pipeline comprised of aging, leak-prone materials for three decades at the current rate of progress. This report considers an alternative, accelerated scenario whereby this rate of repair and replacement activity would be tripled—a goal not inconceivable were ideal policy and finance mechanisms in place. 

The report findings include:

  • Accelerating the timeframe of pipe replacement would increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by over $37 billion by 2024, leaviing GDP $30 billion higher in that year compared to the 30-year repair and replacement schedule. 
  • By the end of the 10-year replacement timeline, over 313,000 people would be employed, with nearly 250,000 more jobs created than in the 30-year repair and replacement scenario. 
  • Over three decades, the accelerated 10-year scenario would save nearly $4.4 billion worth of gas. Those savings are $1.5 billion more than under the current rate of repair and replacement.
  • The faster replacement rate prevents an additional 81 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere, roughly equivalent to taking 17 million cars off the road for one year. 

Investing in our infrastructure is a winning proposition for consumers, the environment, and the economy as a whole. Accelerating the timeline will provide those benefits at a time when America needs them the most. 


Listen to the audio from the press call below.

Flash Required


A Common Position on the Future of Oil Fri, 27 Sep 2013 12:37:00 -0500 Over a fifteen-month period stretching from June 2011 to August 2012, oil refinery workers and environmentalists came together to discuss the future of oil. In four roundtables held at United Steelworkers (USW) Local offices near refinery communities in California, Louisiana, Washington and Texas, 97 people—mostly refinery workers represented by the United Steelworkers and members of local Sierra Club chapters—participated in the drafting of a common position on the future of oil. 

Then participants reviewed and discussed information on how the U.S. economy currently depends on oil; how we use more oil than we produce; why improvements are needed in the safety practices of oil production and refining; and how the oil industry is a powerful political force, resulting in an unhealthy cycle of huge subsidies and lax regulation. The dialogue emphasized the importance of identifying solutions that would cut our consumption of oil, the need to rely on existing sources of domestic oil and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and the importance of protecting the jobs of American oil workers and improving the safety of American refineries.

Read the Executive Summary by clicking the link below.

Fact sheet on the Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2014 Wed, 09 Jul 2014 12:42:00 -0500 The Ban Poisonous Additives (BPA) Act of 2014, which is being introduced by Sen. Edward Markey, D‐Mass., and Reps. Lois Capps, D-Calif. and Grace Meng, D-N.Y., will remove BPA from food packaging, label food packaging that still contains BPA while alternatives are developed, encourage manufacturers to replace this hazardous chemical with alternatives that are safer for workers and consumers, and require the FDA to review the safety of all food contact substances.