Blue Green Alliance Feed http://bluegreenalliance.com/news/latest/rss Blue Green Alliance Latest News Feed Tue, 24 Jan 2012 05:00:00 +0000 AMPS en hourly 1 REPORT: Climate Works for All http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/report-climate-works-for-all Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:46:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/report-climate-works-for-all

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.”

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NYC Can Create Nearly 40,000 Jobs a Year Addressing Climate Change http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/nyc-can-create-nearly-40000-jobs-a-year-addressing-climate-change Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:54:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/nyc-can-create-nearly-40000-jobs-a-year-addressing-climate-change Environmental Justice Organizations, Labor Unions, and Community Groups Unveil “Climate Works for All” Agenda Urging Mayor de Blasio to Make NYC a National Model for Reducing Greenhouse Emissions While Creating Thousands of Good Jobs for Local Residents 

New York, NY— If Mayor de Blasio goes bigger and bolder on addressing climate change, he can create nearly 40,000 good jobs a year, and transform the future of New York City.

That is the major finding of an eye-opening new report, Climate Works for All: A Platform for Reducing Emissions, Protecting Our Communities, and Creating Good Jobs for New Yorkers, released today by ALIGN, along with the National AFL-CIO, the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the BlueGreen Alliance, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, and a large number of endorsers and supporters.  

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

The announcement comes on the heels of a well-attended forum at Local 32BJ SEIU earlier this week in which a broad range of approximately 200 allies met to strategize a Climate Works for All campaign for 2015 that will build on the success of the People’s Climate March and urge the de Blasio administration to take aggressive action to advance a robust climate jobs agenda.

Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio set a bold goal of reducing New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. The Climate Works for All agenda is a roadmap for reaching the 80x50 goal while creating a more equitable economy and a massive number of new employment opportunities for struggling families, especially in lower-income communities and communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by climate change.

“Many of the same leaders and groups involved in the People’s Climate March helped develop this Climate Works for All agenda. This is a blueprint for creating the best quality jobs while enabling vulnerable communities to become more resilient and sustainable. With strong leadership from Mayor de Blasio, we can get this done and lead the way for the rest of the country. We have both an opportunity and an obligation to create a climate that truly works for all,” said Matt Ryan, Executive Director, ALIGN.

"The time is right for the bold proposals to combat climate change and create good new jobs in the Climate Works for All agenda," said Brad Markell, Executive Director, AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council. "We are encouraged that labor and community are coming together behind this agenda and by what seems possible in New York City right now."

“The Climate Works for All agenda is long overdue, especially in lower-income communities and in communities of color where income equality and climate change are most deeply connected. Enacting these proposals will create good quality jobs and career paths for New Yorkers who are exposed to the greatest hazards of climate change and economic unfairness. New York City can become the national leader on climate jobs, and elevate the grassroots voices of people on the frontlines of the environmental justice movement,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance.

“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.”

"As we work to ensure that our city is prepared for the effects of climate change, it is imperative that the working men and women performing these infrastructure upgrades have the union protections, wages, and benefits that will allow them to pay rent, raise families, and invest in their local communities," said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. "Climate protection, economic justice, and the creation of good, union jobs must go hand in hand as we move forward in the push for a more livable New York City."

The Climate Works for All agenda is endorsed and supported by the following organizations: 

1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

350.org

American Federation of Teachers

American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter

Citizen Action

Communications Workers of America District 1

Community Voices Heard

El Puente

Environmental Defense Fund

Faith in New York

Good Old Lower East Side

Housing is a Human Right

International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 16

International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 12

Make the Road

Metallic Latherers& Iron Workers

Morningside Heights/West Harlem Sanitation Coalition

Mutual Housing Association of New York

New York City Environmental Justice Alliance

New York Communities for Change

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

New York State Nurses Association

Nos Quedamos

Pratt Center for Community Development

Professional Staff Congress CUNY

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

Rockaway Wildfire

Sandy Storyline

Service Employees International Union 32BJ

Sierra Club

Sustainable South Bronx

The Point

Transport Workers Union Local 100

United Autoworkers Region 9A

UPROSE

VOCAL-NY

WE ACT

Working Families Party

Youth Ministries for Peace & Justice

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BlueGreen Alliance Defends Workers’ Rights at COP20 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-defends-workers-rights-at-cop20 Sun, 14 Dec 2014 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-defends-workers-rights-at-cop20 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 14, 2014) – Today the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP 20) concluded in Lima, Peru. BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas released the following statement on the framework approved by global negotiators.

“Building off of the commitments to the Green Climate Fund and significant bilateral agreement between the US and China, the Lima Call to Action takes steps towards a global agreement at COP21 in Paris next year. However, there’s no getting around the fact that an agreement will be insufficient for millions of working families across the world unless it includes a community resilience strategy to help workers negotiate a fair and just transition to the clean economy. We are missing an important opportunity unless we choose to invest in both the economic and environmental needs of this and future generations.

“Serious consideration must also be given to policies that put a price on carbon to meet global emissions goals and invest in our communities. Climate change is having an impact on us all regardless of borders and we must do more to protect communities from these impacts. The solutions for addressing climate change cannot sacrifice workers, their families and the communities that depend on them.”

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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BlueGreen Alliance Presses Obama Administration to Act on Methane Emissions http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-presses-obama-administration-to-act-on-methane-emissions Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:11:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-presses-obama-administration-to-act-on-methane-emissions FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 10, 2014) – The BlueGreen Alliance urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas industry with a full-page ad in the Washington Post.

“Federal agencies and states are taking the right steps toward reducing potent methane emissions, now it’s time for the EPA to act to reduce emissions, create high-quality jobs and stimulate the economy,” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Reducing methane emissions throughout the energy sector can easily become a key part of our nation’s strategy to address climate change and is an important part of the president’s Climate Action Plan.”

Methane is the second largest greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere, and it is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

The BlueGreen Alliance has worked in partnership with labor and environmental organizations along with industry leaders to encourage the administration to take action in this effort. The advertisement appears online here.

“We have the technology to reduce methane emissions by half in the next five years across the energy sector. These low cost solutions can create high-quality jobs, reduce the effects of climate change and stimulate our economy,” Glas said.  “We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work.”

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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Congress: End Year on the Right Foot by Passing a Budget, Clean Energy Tax Credits http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/congress-end-year-on-the-right-foot-by-passing-a-budget-clean-energy-tax-credits Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/congress-end-year-on-the-right-foot-by-passing-a-budget-clean-energy-tax-credits FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 8, 2014) – The BlueGreen Alliance today urged Congress to pass a budget immediately and to reinvest in clean energy manufacturing programs like the Production Tax Credit and Advanced Energy Project Credit. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas:

“It’s our hope that Congress puts the best interests of the American people before their own by quickly passing a budget to fully fund the government. It’s equally important, despite it being the holiday season, that Congress avoid efforts to ornament this budget bill like a Christmas tree with burdensome policy riders that would significantly delay the approval process.

“The remaining days of this legislative session would be a missed opportunity without the renewal of clean energy investments like the Production Tax Credit and Advanced Energy Project Credit. Congressional approval of these important priorities will help us all breathe a sigh of relief as we close the book on 2014.”

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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BlueGreen Alliance Partners Urge Leaders to Seize Environmental, Economic Opportunities from Lima COP http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-partners-urge-leaders-to-seize-environmental-economic-opportunities-from-lima-cop Fri, 05 Dec 2014 10:57:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-partners-urge-leaders-to-seize-environmental-economic-opportunities-from-lima-cop FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 5, 2014) – The BlueGreen Alliance today said that some of North America’s largest environmental and labor organizations are calling for United Nations (UN) negotiators at this week’s 20th Conference of the Parties (COP 20) in Lima, Peru to push for a smart, world-wide transition to clean and renewable energy at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“We must act now to address global climate change and promote the creation and maintenance of good jobs in the clean energy economy,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard, who co-chairs the BlueGreen Alliance. “The economic and ecological welfare of the planet cannot wait.”

“From the landmark deal between the U.S. and China to slash emissions to the sizable contributions committed to the Green Climate fund, momentum toward significant international action to tackle the climate crisis is quickly growing. The negotiations in Lima give us the chance to build on those successes by setting the table for progress in Paris that will expand the clean energy economy at home while protecting our communities from the worst consequences of climate disruption,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director and Co-Chair of the BlueGreen Alliance.

In a letter sent today, the groups 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.

“Climate change is an issue that affects working families no matter where they live. We hope the agreements to come out of Lima result in real, enforceable action,” said Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen.

“Strong commitments to curtail carbon pollution are a necessary, critical step forward in the fight against climate change. We are hopeful leaders can collectively agree on ambitious measures,” said Frances Beinecke, President of NRDC.

The COP 20 in Lima, Peru is expected to set the framework of a larger climate agreement prior to the Paris climate negotiations next year.

“Thousands of working people who joined the largest climate change protest in history set the stage for world leaders to seize momentum toward making progress in Lima. The landmark agreement between the US and China also paved the way for leaders in Lima to embark toward climate action that we can all get behind,” said Mary Kay Henry, President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU). 

“Regardless of national boundaries, we all have a stake in protecting the environment and investing in our own economic competitiveness. We look forward to finding new ways for working families to reap the benefits of these investments,” said William P. Hite, General President of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA).

“As millions of people around the world experience the realities of climate change firsthand—on the safety, health, and livelihoods of their families and communities— their call for climate action will only continue to grow. We’re hopeful the result of the COP 20 will be that countries, which to this point have stood on the sidelines, will step up, engage in a productive dialogue about the future we’re facing, and pave the way for meaningful commitments to reduce emissions,” said Dr. Kathleen Rest, Executive Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“We hope future generations can benefit from a more level playing field, a more sustainable environment and stronger economy. The decisions we make today can set an example of what we’re capable of when we work together,” said American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten.

“There’s always more that needs to be done to invest in a strong, clean energy economy and to protect good, middle class jobs, and we hope to see strong commitments to meet these needs and priorities of workers,” said D. Michael Langford, National President of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA).

In June, BlueGreen Alliance members showed their support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed action to regulate carbon pollution. They also urged the administration to consider how working families have already been affected by America’s energy transition, and how they will be impacted in the future as this rule is finalized and implemented.

“It’s vital that the U.S. engage other nations and lead the way to reducing the carbon pollution driving climate change. We’re excited for the opportunities the COP 20 provides to move us toward an international agreement that will create resilient and sustainable solutions to the problems facing our environment and wildlife,” said Collin O’Mara, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

In a recent letter to President Obama, the leaders emphasized the importance of moving forward now with smart initiatives that facilitate the transition to cleaner fuel, more resilient infrastructure and a robust workforce that is supported by good economic and social policies.

“Our members’ work reduces the carbon pollution that’s driving this change every day because riding public transit is one of the best ways to combat climate change, but we need global action in addition to local action,” said Larry Hanley, International President of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). “Today we’re looking to those who have a seat at the table to find common sense solutions that will strengthen economies, build resilient communities, expand public transit systems and create family-sustaining jobs.”

“President Obama’s leadership has set the bar high on climate change. We’re hopeful that this year’s COP can advance policies that protect jobs and move us forward in our efforts to fight climate change,” said James Boland, President of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC).

“Reducing the carbon pollution and greenhouse gases driving climate change is vital to protecting our environment and our communities. Along with the initiatives launched at the Leaders Summit in September and the historic US-China announcement earlier this month, the work in Lima can help set the groundwork for success for strong international action now,” said Elizabeth Thompson, President of EDF Action, the political action partner of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

“The United States is leading by example; now is the time for others to step up. The decisions made over the next few weeks must work to lay a foundation for further international action to significantly reduce carbon emissions and to help keep America’s manufacturing sector on a level playing field,” said Kim Glas, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director.

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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LETTER: BlueGreen Alliance Urges President to take advantage of Lima opportunities http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/letter-bluegreen-alliance-urges-president-to-take-advantage-of-lima-opportunities Fri, 05 Dec 2014 10:18:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/letter-bluegreen-alliance-urges-president-to-take-advantage-of-lima-opportunities 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.

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BlueGreen Alliance Appeals to EPA to Develop a Clean Power Plan that Supports Workers & Communities http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-appeals-to-epa-to-develop-a-clean-power-plan-that-supports-workers-communities Mon, 01 Dec 2014 19:17:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-appeals-to-epa-to-develop-a-clean-power-plan-that-supports-workers-communities FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 1, 2014) – The BlueGreen Alliance today released comments in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to set carbon emission standards for existing power sources. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas:

“The EPA’s proposed rule sends a message that we’re ready to lead by example on climate action.

“This proposed rule permits each state the flexibility needed to craft a compliance plan that is tailored to the specifics of its local and regional economy, which in turn can create opportunities to sustain and grow jobs, encourage investment and jumpstart new technologies.

“This rule has the potential to create and maintain quality, family-sustaining jobs if it is done right. For that to happen, the private sector, including utilities, and all levels of government must work in tandem with communities—and the workers within them—to make the rule a success. There is still further opportunity for EPA to get the details of the final rule correct. We applaud the EPA for moving forward on addressing the threat of climate change.”

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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LETTER: Comments on EPA's Proposed Rule on Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/letter-comments-on-epas-proposed-rule-on-carbon-pollution-emission-guidelines Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:05:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/letter-comments-on-epas-proposed-rule-on-carbon-pollution-emission-guidelines 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.

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Apollo Alliance Project Honors Leaders at The Right Stuff Awards for Building Stronger Economy, Protecting Environment http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/apollo-alliance-project-honors-leaders-at-the-right-stuff-awards-for-building-stronger-economy-protecting-environment Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:00:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/apollo-alliance-project-honors-leaders-at-the-right-stuff-awards-for-building-stronger-economy-protecting-environment Awards Dinner in San Francisco Honors Government, Business, Environmental, Labor and Community Leaders

SAN FRANCISCO (November 13, 2014) – The Apollo Alliance Project of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation recognized government, business, community, environmental and labor leaders at their annual The Right Stuff Awards Dinner. The honorees were given awards for their efforts to promote a sustainable environment and economy.

“We are proud to recognize these leaders who are dedicated to protecting the environment, creating good jobs, and improving our communities,” said Phil Angelides, Chairman of the Apollo Alliance Advisory Board. “The work being done by these honorees to create a secure clean energy future and open up new markets will help ensure we have a strong middle class.”

This year’s honorees included: U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz; Maggie Fox, recent past-President and CEO of the Climate Reality Project; the U.S. Green Building Council and its President Rick Fedrizzi; KC Golden, Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Solutions; Jeffrey Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO; United Association (UA) and its General President William Hite; and California healthcare system Kaiser Permanente.

“These are the leaders who are turning great challenges into great opportunities,” said Kim Glas, President of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation. “Together, in communities across the country, we will continue to lead the charge to accelerate the growth of clean energy, good jobs and a stronger American economy.”

The Apollo Alliance Project of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation offers a bold vision to catalyze the transition to a clean energy economy. Working with our coalition of labor, business, environmental and community leaders we will reduce carbon emissions and oil imports, spur domestic job growth, and position America to thrive in the 21st century economy. Annually, the Apollo Alliance Project has honored leaders and businesses at the forefront of the clean economy in California and around the country for their contributions to a strong economy and a safe, healthy environment. Past honorees include California Governor Jerry Brown, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke.

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The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that conducts research and educates the public and media about solutions to environmental challenges that create economic opportunities for the American people. Learn more at www.bgafoundation.org.

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BlueGreen Alliance Urges Action in Lame Duck Session http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-urges-action-in-lame-duck-session Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:43:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-urges-action-in-lame-duck-session CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 12, 2014) – Today, Congress reconvenes for its “lame duck” legislative session following last week’s Midterm Elections. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas:

“Before Congress adjourns for the year, Americans want Congress to step up and help create jobs with common sense legislation:

“One way to do that is to renew the Production Tax Credit for wind projects, which will create good jobs in manufacturing while also helping to reduce emissions and transition our nation to clean energy. Second, Congress must pass an omnibus spending bill that responsibly funds government without the introduction of policy riders that will slow down the process. Third, we should take the opportunity now to pass a fully funded transportation reauthorization bill, shoring up the Highway Trust Fund for the future. Fourth, Congress must take steps to eliminate the backlog of nominations and appointments of over 200 vacancies that threaten consumer well-being, workplace safety and much more.

“The lame duck session should not be used as an opportunity to pass controversial and divisive measures; it should be used as an opportunity to pass meaningful bi-partisan legislation. That means we must also reject ‘fast track’ authority for international trade agreements, which would shut out public input from this and future agreements.

“This year’s lame duck session doesn’t have to live up to its name. It’s time to get some work done to turn today’s environmental challenges into economic and job-creating opportunities.”   

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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BlueGreen Alliance Applauds U.S.-China Agreement to Curb Carbon Emissions http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-applauds-u-s-china-agreement-to-curb-carbon-emissions Wed, 12 Nov 2014 12:37:05 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-applauds-u-s-china-agreement-to-curb-carbon-emissions FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 12, 2014) – The United States and China made an historic joint agreement to curb carbon emissions in the coming decade, with the US committing to cut national emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels and China committing to peak emissions by 2030. The BlueGreen Alliance’s Executive Director Kim Glas released the following statement in response to this agreement:

“With this monumental agreement, the United States and President Obama are leading by example. These actions lay the foundation for further international action to significantly reduce carbon emissions and to help keep America’s economy and the manufacturing sector on a level playing field.

“But there is much more we need to do. We call on the leadership of the new Congress to acknowledge the reality of climate change and to demonstrate it can govern. Continued efforts are necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change and to put our economy back on solid ground.”

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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Minnesota Natural Gas Distribution Pipeline Project http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/minnesota-natural-gas-distribution-pipeline-project Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/minnesota-natural-gas-distribution-pipeline-project 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 and the fact sheet examine the natural gas distribution system of Minnesota and the benefit of repairing leak-prone pipes within the system. 

The metro is in many ways is at the forefront of efforts underway by gas providers to upgrade aging pipe infrastructure. These improvements are critical in reducing methane emissions—a potent greenhouse gas that is estimated to have at least 20 times the climate change impact versus carbon dioxide on a pound for pound basis over a 100-year timeframe.

As part of an education and outreach project sponsored by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration (PHMSA), the Minnesota BlueGreen Alliance convened a series of meetings engaging frontline gas workers, community and environmental groups, and others.

The meetings were held throughout 2014 and helped identify challenges and opportunities facing the network of natural gas distribution pipelines in the Twin Cities metro. We also identified best practices, highlighted how far along the utilities and workers have come in advancing distribution pipeline repair, replacement and detection, and developed strategies that could be used around the country to tackle methane leaks in distribution pipelines. 

Minnesota Natural Gas Distribution Profile 
Minnesota Natural Gas Distribution Pipeline Fact Sheet 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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REPORT: Repairing America’s Infrastructure Can Create 2.7 Million Jobs, Increase GDP by $377 Billion, and Reduce Emissions http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/report-repairing-americas-infrastructure-can-create-2-7-million-jobs-increase-gdp-by-377-billion-and-reduce-emissions Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:42:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/report-repairing-americas-infrastructure-can-create-2-7-million-jobs-increase-gdp-by-377-billion-and-reduce-emissions Two Years After Hurricane Sandy, New Report Demonstrates Economic and Environmental Benefits of Repairing Infrastructure and Protecting Communities from Impacts of Climate Change 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 24, 2014) – An innovative report released today shows that repairing America’s infrastructure could create 2.7 million jobs across the economy and increase the national 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. The BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations, today held a press call to release the report that analyzed the impact of infrastructure investments on the nation’s economy and environment.

“Repairing our most basic infrastructure systems will make those systems more efficient and prepare our communities for the coming impacts of climate change. But most of all, it will create quality jobs up and down the supply chain—from manufacturing the components of these systems to the installation and operation of them in our communities,” said Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers and Co-Founder of the BlueGreen Alliance.

Making the Grade: How Investments in America’s Infrastructure Benefit Our Economy and Environment examines the benefits of improving America’s infrastructure from an average “D+” grade—the 2013 rating by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Report Card—to a “B” grade over the next ten years and quantifies the potential job creation and economic impact from making those investments. In addition, the report examines the environmental benefits of investing in repairing and upgrading America’s infrastructure systems, including the ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a variety of sectors across the economy.

“Poor infrastructure means more waste and pollution. By acting now, we can end the vicious circle we’re in—where outdated and inefficient infrastructure is making climate change worse, and as the climate changes the infrastructure is even more battered by the impacts,” said Peter Lehner, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Rebuilding our infrastructure now just makes good sense for our communities, the environment and our economy.”

Making the Grade shows that accelerating infrastructure investment—as laid out in the report—would result in saving nearly 5.7 billion gallons of fuel annually by supporting current growth in transit ridership. Similarly, investments in America’s energy infrastructure would help reach the carbon pollution reduction goals of the Clean Power Plan by investing in more the nation’s electric grid.

In addition, a 5 percent reduction in leaks from drinking water systems would reduce climate change pollution by an equivalent of 225,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The report also showed that every 5 percent reduced in the amount of solid waste Americans generate could limit greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year—the equivalent emissions for six million U.S. households.

“Underinvestment, deferred maintenance and extreme weather stress our infrastructure networks—endangering communities, wasting energy, and creating excess pollution,” said D. Michael Langford, National President of the Utility Workers Union of America. “We cannot afford to continue to ignore the costs of inaction—inaction on fixing our infrastructure, inaction on climate change—and avoid the significant costs that occur because of that inaction. It’s time to move on repairing our nation’s infrastructure now.”

The report comes just before the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy reaching the East Coast. The storm was the second costliest in U.S. history and exposed how unprepared the nation’s infrastructure systems are to the dangers brought on by climate change, which includes stronger and more frequent storms and rising sea levels. Hurricane Sandy caused an estimated $60 to $80 billion in damage, damaged 650,000 homes and left 8.5 million people without power. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), warmer oceans and air along with other changes in global weather patters, more powerful and more frequent hurricanes could be more likely.

“We must find better ways to ensure that local infrastructure makes the grade,” said Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell. “Repairing infrastructure systems and addressing climate change go hand-in-hand and both will create good jobs. Reinforcing the power grid, strengthening stormwater drains, and creating communities resilient to climate change will promote economic growth in cities all around our nation.”  

“In order to lead in the global economy, America needs to be at the front of the pack when it comes to infrastructure,” said Brian Pallasch, Managing Director of Government Relations & Infrastructure Initiatives for ASCE. “Our Report Card for America’s Infrastructure has called attention to the state of our nation’s infrastructure for over a decade, and this new study provides current insight into the economic and environmental benefits that would come along with making the needed infrastructure investment.”

“Clean water, a reliable and efficient electric grid, uncongested travel—these are the keys to good communities and a strong economy,” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “As the backbone of our economy, we need to bolster our infrastructure and make it resilient to the impacts of climate change. By doing so, we can reduce pollution and create good jobs too.”

The group said one way to boost investment now is for Congress to pass a long-term, fully funded transportation bill yet this year. “Congress can jumpstart this by passing a transportation bill in the ‘lame duck’ session still this year,” Glas added.

Listen to the audio from the press call below.

Flash Required

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the clean economy. Launched in 2006, the strategic partnership now brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and clean economy. Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

 

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REPORT: Making the Grade: How Investments in America’s Infrastructure Benefit Our Economy and Environment http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/report-making-the-grade Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:30:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/report-making-the-grade 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:

REPORT INFOGRAPHICS
  • 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.

VIEW THE INFOGRAPHICS>>>
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STATEMENT: BlueGreen Alliance Urges Administration to Adopt a National Methane Reduction Strategy http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/statement-bluegreen-alliance-urges-administration-to-adopt-a-national-methane-reduction-strategy Fri, 10 Oct 2014 11:15:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/statement-bluegreen-alliance-urges-administration-to-adopt-a-national-methane-reduction-strategy FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

 

Washington, D.C. (October 10, 2014) – The BlueGreen Alliance today 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.  

“Methane is a potent source of emissions, and taking steps to reduce emissions is a substantial opportunity to put American workers squarely at the forefront of developing, manufacturing, and implementing these technologies—providing high-quality jobs and stimulating local economies,” said Kim Glas, BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director.

The full text of the letter appears below.

October 10, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500


Dear President Obama,

The BlueGreen Alliance—a partnership of 10 of America’s largest labor unions and 5 national environmental groups—represents more than 15 million members and supporters working toward a cleaner, fairer and more competitive American economy.

The oil and gas industry is the nation’s largest industrial source of methane, the main component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas. Reducing methane emissions throughout the industry’s operations needs to be a key part of our nation’s strategy to address climate change. 

In March 2014, the White House indicated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will determine in the fall of 2014 how best to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations. 

The BlueGreen Alliance supports the move toward a national set of standards to directly regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Methane standards could contribute substantially to meeting the administration’s target of reducing the nation’s global warming pollution 17 percent by 2020, with even greater reductions post-2020. In addition:

  • Proven, low-cost technologies can eliminate as much as half of all climate-warming methane emissions from onshore oil and gas operations in the next 5 years. American companies in over 40 states are at the forefront of developing, manufacturing, and implementing these technologies, providing high-quality jobs and stimulating local economies.
  • Keeping methane ‘in the system’ will help companies cut waste in addition to reducing the climate change impact of these emissions. A recent report by ICF International estimates methane emissions could be reduced by 40 percent below projected 2018 levels at an average annual cost of less than one cent per thousand cubic feet of produced natural gas.
  • Some companies recognize this benefit and have adopted methane pollution reduction measures on their own accord. And while some states, such as Colorado, have taken action to reduce methane emissions, no national standards are in place to protect communities across the country and to effectively reduce the contribution of methane leakage to climate change.

We applaud the commitments the Obama administration has made to date to address climate change, to include fuel efficiency and pollution standards that are helping ensure America is on the forefront of building a clean vehicle fleet, as well as sensible and attainable emissions reductions through the nation’s power sector. We support continuing efforts to build on this legacy by establishing national methane emissions standards at the earliest opportunity. By doing so, we can reduce waste in our nation’s energy sector while also reducing pollution that is disrupting our climate.

Sincerely,

Kim Glas
Executive Director
BlueGreen Alliance

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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LETTER: BlueGreen Alliance Urges the Administration to Adopt a National Methane Reduction Strategy http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/letter-bluegreen-alliance-urges-the-administration-to-adopt-a-national-methane-reduction-strategy Fri, 10 Oct 2014 09:59:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/letter-bluegreen-alliance-urges-the-administration-to-adopt-a-national-methane-reduction-strategy 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.  

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STATEMENT: Infrastructure Investments Are a Pathway to Creating Jobs http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/statement-infrastructure-investments-are-a-pathway-to-creating-jobs Fri, 03 Oct 2014 08:49:14 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/statement-infrastructure-investments-are-a-pathway-to-creating-jobs FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

 

Washington, D.C. (October 3, 2014) – Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics unveiled the September employment situation, showing the economy gained 248,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas:

“This month’s jobs numbers show continued progress toward lowering the unemployment rate. However, we are reminded everyday about the need for greater infrastructure investments that prepare communities to be resilient to the impacts of a changing climate. Repairing America’s infrastructure will create quality jobs. These investments are vital to our economic and environmental future, but, as importantly, we must also modernize it to ensure it is ready to protect our communities and families for years to come.

“With just over a month until Election Day, it’s critical that upgrade and modernization of our infrastructure is top priority issue.”

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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REPORT: Minnesota Natural Gas Distribution Profile http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/minnesota-natural-gas-distribution-profile Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:26:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/publications/minnesota-natural-gas-distribution-profile 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. 

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Gov. Brown Signs Bill to Repair California’s Natural Gas Leaks http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/gov-brown-signs-bill-to-repair-californias-natural-gas-leaks Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:17:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/gov-brown-signs-bill-to-repair-californias-natural-gas-leaks As Governor Brown Attends United Nations Climate Summit, Group Lauds New Law That Will Create and Sustain Good Jobs, Reduce Emissions Driving Climate Change

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) September 22, 2014 – A group of labor and environmental leaders today lauded Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing of a bill that will require utilities to address the growing issue of natural gas leaks in distribution pipelines. The bill, SB 1371, was authored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and was passed by the Legislature in August. The new law specifically directs the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to develop and implement a comprehensive natural gas distribution pipelines leak reduction strategy that ensures the quick and efficient repair of leaks. 

“In order to protect public health and the environment, we must keep natural gas in the pipes where it belongs as opposed to letting it leak into the air,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “Senate Bill 1371 serves this dual purpose by ensuring that leaking gas pipes are repaired quickly and in a cost-efficient manner for consumers.” 

California is the nation’s second largest consumer of natural gas, with over 100,000 miles of pipes and other equipment delivering natural gas to customers across the state. The union representing workers who maintain and repair distribution pipelines in the state was supportive of the measure. 

“Utility workers are proud of the broad public interest coalition of unions, environmental groups and consumer and community interests that have come together to support this measure,” said Robert Hoffman, President of Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Local 132, the sponsor of the bill. “Being proactive in repairing and upgrading these vital pipes will benefit the environment and public safety while creating and sustaining good jobs for workers throughout the state. We thank Sen. Leno for bringing this forward and we appreciate the Governor signing it into law.” 

“This is a big step towards a comprehensive strategy in California to reduce methane pollution,” said Tim O’Connor, Director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) California Climate Initiative. “Implementing policies to curb the loss of a valuable resource is good for both California’s environment and our economy.” 

“This new law will reinforce California’s leadership in reducing emissions that contribute to climate change,” said Kathryn Phillips, Director of Sierra Club California. “Methane as a greenhouse gas is considerably more potent than carbon dioxide and we applaud this effort to reduce these harmful and wasteful emissions.” 

The new law will also help eliminate waste of a critical energy resource. So-called “fugitive” emissions of methane equate to millions of dollars of lost gas that Californians end up paying for in their monthly utility bills. 

“This is the right thing to do for our environment and our economy,” said Victoria Rome, California Legislative Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Repairing these leaks is vital to California’s continued leadership in the fight against climate change.” 

“Repairing and preventing leaks in our natural gas distribution pipelines will create family-sustaining jobs and local infrastructure investment while reducing emissions that contribute to climate change. We thank Gov. Brown for signing this important legislation,” said JB Tengco, California Director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership of labor and environmental organizations. 

California joins other state and federal efforts to mitigate methane emissions. Colorado and Wyoming have already begun to develop and adopt regulations requiring leak reductions. 

“This is great news for California’s economy and environment,” said Laura Reynolds, Vice President for Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 9. “Union workers are concerned about climate change and ready to act. Repairing our state’s leaking natural gas distribution pipelines is something we should all be able to get behind.” 

Action is taking place at the federal level, as well. Earlier this year the White House released a national methane reduction strategy. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on track to make a decision within the next year on regulating methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and the California Air Resources Board is also considering new methane regulations for oil and gas development. 

“Communities around the state will benefit from this new law and California is showing once again that we can create family-sustaining jobs for workers, while doing right by our environment,” said Robert LaVenture, Director of United Steelworkers (USW) District 12. 

“Protecting our communities from climate change is an obligation that we must uphold,” said James Araby, the Executive Director of the United Food & Commercial Workers

(UFCW) Western States Council. “And, by addressing climate change by repairing these leaks, we can create family-sustaining jobs in communities around the state.” 

Earlier this summer, the AFL-CIO and the BlueGreen Alliance released a report that highlighted the economic and environmental benefits of replacing America’s aging natural gas distribution pipelines over a 10-year period instead of the current 30-year scenario. The report showed that doing so would increase the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by over $37 billion by 2024, create over 313,000 jobs, save consumers nearly $4.4 billion in lost gas, and prevent 81 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere.   

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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Statement: President Obama Shows Global Leadership on Climate Action at U.N. Climate Summit http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-statement-president-obama-shows-global-leadership-on-climate-action-at-u-n-climate-summit Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:57:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-statement-president-obama-shows-global-leadership-on-climate-action-at-u-n-climate-summit FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS:

Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

Announces Participation in a Dozen New Climate Change Partnerships

New York, NY (September 23, 2014) – Today the United Nations Climate Summit convenes in New York City with President Obama and over 100 world leaders. President Obama announced a series of initiatives to step up U.S. engagement in global efforts to address climate change, including efforts to increase global climate resilience and reduce methane emissions. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas:

“This is the kind of leadership Americans expect from U.S. leaders, especially in light of the People’s Climate March this weekend. The series of unprecedented measures announced by the president today that will help communities the world over become more climate-resilient, reduce methane emissions, and better predict extreme weather. This action affirms our commitment to national and international climate action.

“As we begin the countdown to the Paris Conference of the Parties (COP) in 2015, the expectation is that more countries will step up to the plate and show they’re ready to address the greatest challenge we face today—climate change. It’s a problem that’s not going away, but it’s also an opportunity to create and maintain quality, family-sustaining jobs. World leaders must seize this opportunity.”

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership based in Minnesota that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.

Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org. Follow us on Twitter (@bgalliance) and like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/bluegreenalliance).

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STATEMENT: Encouraging Climate Resilient Communities a Smart Move by Administration http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/statement-encouraging-climate-resilient-communities-a-smart-move-by-administration Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:06:44 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/statement-encouraging-climate-resilient-communities-a-smart-move-by-administration FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

(New York City – September 22, 2014) U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced federal funding for transit authorities to help prevent damage from future storms—like that caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City, New Jersey and the surrounding region two years ago. The Department of Transportation has selected 40 projects to receive a share of $3.59 billion in federal disaster relief funds to help public transportation systems in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy to become more resilient, in order to withstand the impact of future natural disasters. Following the announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance’s Executive Director Kim Glas released the following statement:

“Hurricane Sandy showed just how vulnerable our infrastructure systems are to rising seas and extreme storms. As our climate continues to change, we’ll be seeing more frequent and severe events like these, and the systems we rely on every day must be ready for this challenge. Doing so will both address climate change and grow family-sustaining jobs in construction, manufacturing and other economic sectors.

“As we approach the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, repairing America’s basic systems, and modernizing them to be resilient and efficient, should and must be a priority for every level of government in every state and city in this country. We applaud the announcement today from Transportation Secretary Foxx. It further highlights the commitment of this administration to tackling the threat of climate change and its impacts on our infrastructure systems, while growing family-sustaining jobs.”

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 The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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BlueGreen Alliance Applauds HELP Act Introduction http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-applauds-help-act-introduction Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:56:37 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/bluegreen-alliance-applauds-help-act-introduction FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS:

Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916

Legislation would support workers, communities during the energy transition 

Washington, D.C. (September 19, 2014) – Congressmen David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced legislation that would support workers and communities during America’s energy transition, create opportunities to grow new jobs, encourage investment, and jumpstart new technologies. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Kim Glas:

“On behalf of the BlueGreen Alliance, I wish to thank Congressmen Welch and McKinley for their work on the Healthy Employee Loss Prevention (HELP) Act of 2014. It’s critical that we support workers and their communities when jobs are lost due to no fault of their own—which is what is happening in the coal industry. We applaud Reps. Welch and McKinley for showing the leadership to take this issue head on.

“The HELP Act is a good start, but could be strengthened in several key areas. We should ensure that skills development and re-employment programs actually lead to quality employment, matching or exceeding the well-paid jobs that have been lost. Support for pension and benefits of displaced workers is key to ensuring a decent standard of living, and efforts to support investment and economic development and diversification in these communities—where new jobs can be created—should not be overlooked.

“As a coalition of both labor unions and environmental organizations, both committed to protecting workers and communities, we look forward to working with Reps. Welch and McKinley, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to move and improve this critical piece of legislation until it becomes law.”

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership based in Minnesota that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.

Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org. Follow us on Twitter (@bgalliance) and like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/bluegreenalliance).

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Michigan Should Lead the Way on Infrastructure Repairs, Addressing Climate Change http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/michigan-should-lead-the-way-on-infrastructure-repairs-addressing-climate-change Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:56:00 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/michigan-should-lead-the-way-on-infrastructure-repairs-addressing-climate-change FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS:

Erin Bzymek, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org, 202-706-6916 

Event Featuring Mayor Heartwell, EPA Region 5 Administrator Hedman, Utility Workers Union of America Highlights Need to Address Climate Change, Make Robust Infrastructure Investments 

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell today called for action to better prepare Michigan’s infrastructure for the impact of a changing climate in a way that will also create and maintain good jobs for American workers. EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman and Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) participated in the event hosted by the BlueGreen Alliance and argued for action to repair and update the state’s basic systems now, not later. 

“We can promote economic growth in communities like Grand Rapids by repairing infrastructure systems and addressing climate change,” said Mayor Heartwell. “Those two things go hand-in-hand. And, and both will create good jobs.” 

Repairing and updating the state’s infrastructure will be good for the state’s economy. A 2013 report showed that an estimated 119,300 jobs could be created across the Michigan economy by making much-­needed investments in basic infrastructure systems.  

“Repairing our basic systems will grow the economy and ensure that communities are safe and healthy,” said D. Michael Langford, UWUA National President. “Utility workers are on the front lines when there’s a weather-related outage and our members see every day how old and inefficient our infrastructure has become. Taking action now will help get communities ready for climate change, create family-sustaining jobs, and reduce the waste and inefficiencies that hit us all in the pocketbook.” 

The discussion also included ways to expand clean energy infrastructure and promote energy efficiency as tools for effectively meeting the goals of the U.S. Climate Action Plan. 

“Tackling climate change is a huge opportunity to jumpstart our economy by investing in a clean-energy future,” said Anne Woiwode, Michigan Chapter Director of the Sierra Club. “That means more, good jobs and stronger, healthier communities. The path forward requires urgent action and bold investment, starting today.”

The Repair America campaign is the BlueGreen Alliance’s nationwide effort to educate and mobilize union members and environmentalists around modernizing and upgrading our nation’s most basic systems—systems that we rely on every day—to respond to the threat of climate change, protect our communities, and create and maintain good jobs across the country. 

“Communities cannot and should not have to shoulder the burden of severe weather alone,” said Mike Williams, Vice President for Development and Corporate Initiatives, BlueGreen Alliance. “Congress has dropped the ball on addressing the larger issues related to shortfalls in infrastructure funding that has brought us to this point. It’s up to us to help change that.”

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership based in Minnesota that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.

Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org. Follow us on Twitter (@bgalliance) and like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/bluegreenalliance).

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Members of Labor-Environmental Partnership Front-and-Center in People’s Climate March http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/members-of-labor-environmental-partnership-front-and-center-in-peoples-climate-march Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:36:23 -0500 http://www.bluegreenalliance.org/news/latest/members-of-labor-environmental-partnership-front-and-center-in-peoples-climate-march FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:

Erin Bzymek, 202-706-6916, erinb@bluegreenalliance.org

NEW YORK (September 15, 2014) – Members of the national labor-environmental partnership the BlueGreen Alliance are strongly supporting—and will be taking part in—the historic People’s Climate March scheduled for September 21 in New York City. National and local unions are working in tandem with environmental organizations to demonstrate the importance of taking action to address climate change in the U.S. and worldwide, and to create quality jobs and protect the environment and our communities.

“We’re proud to stand with our partners in the labor and economic justice movements at the People's Climate March,” said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director. “Moving to a clean energy economy means more, quality American jobs and stronger working families. By working together, we can ensure cleaner air and water, healthier communities, and economic prosperity for all Americans.”

“Working families and their communities are among those who will bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change,” said Mary Kay Henry, International President of SEIU. “We’ve joined the march so that world leaders will hear the voices of working people everywhere who need action on climate change now for the health of their families, their communities, and economies.”

The People’s Climate March will take place two days before President Obama and world leaders are scheduled to participate in the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City. On September 21, events will take place around the world, from London to Delhi, making this a truly global demonstration.

“The work of our more than 190,000 members every day in transit systems across North America is helping to reduce the carbon pollution that is driving climate change,” said Amalgamated Transit Union International President Larry Hanley. “The ATU supports this effort and will be there in force to show world leaders that transit workers care deeply about this vital issue.”

“Climate change is a problem for all of us, which is why such broad and diverse bands of people will be joining together to call for global action,” said Peter Lehner, NRDC executive director. “Only by working together can we build the political support to ensure world leaders understand how critical it is to address this worldwide health and economic threat today.”

The March has already brought together hundreds of partner organizations from across New York City and around the world representing labor, social justice and environmental justice groups, climate campaigns, immigrant rights groups, and more. Organizers aim to make the People’s Climate March the largest march for climate action in world history.

“This march is an important leadership moment. Our nation is demanding action on climate disruption, and young people care tremendously about the climate crises. When our grandchildren look back on this time and ask, "Which side were you on?" the answer will be that together we were leading the fight for our climate, our democracy, and for a fair and just economy that works for us all,” said Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen.

The transition to a clean energy economy will provide a major boost to workers and the broader economy. Projections show that clean technology and investment in more sustainable communities can be worth more than $5 trillion. Clean energy technologies and climate mitigation and resiliency efforts benefit workers and their communities by making the economy more just and sustainable. These efforts will put manufacturing and construction industries back to work through investments in energy efficiency, clean energy technologies, and infrastructure.  

“We do not have to choose between good jobs and a clean environment; we can and must have both,” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “The People’s Climate March is a watershed moment for our country and we’re proud that the BlueGreen Alliance and our member organizations are working so hard to make sure that moment happens.”

The United Nations Climate Summit begins the countdown to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where world leaders are expected to sign a new international climate treaty.

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The BlueGreen Alliance is a strategic partnership that brings together major U.S. labor unions and America's most influential environmental organizations and unites nearly 16 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a clean economy.  Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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