BlueGreen Alliance Lauds New Partnership Between Ørsted and North America’s Building Trades Union

“America’s offshore wind potential is huge and this partnership between a leader worldwide in the industry and the unions representing more than three million skilled craft professionals will ensure that as we meet that potential the building and construction jobs we create are good-paying, safe, accessible union jobs.

“We know that a just transition to a clean economy means we leave no worker or community behind. The best way to do that is to approach the transition in a way that maximizes the gain for working people by ensuring the quality of the jobs created through partnerships like this one.

“Offshore wind can also play a pivotal role in securing and growing good jobs in America’s manufacturing sector. The next step must be ensuring the supply chain—from raw materials to components—be built domestically and that the operations and maintenance jobs are also good-paying, union jobs if we are to fully capitalize on the economic benefits of America’s offshore wind growth.”

BlueGreen Alliance Congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris

Following the projection that former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) have been elected President and Vice President of the United States of America, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“We sincerely congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory. With their leadership our nation will move forward as we face the ongoing pandemic and the interconnected crises of climate change and income and racial inequality. The will of the American people has been heard and we now look forward to working with the incoming administration to build a fairer, more sustainable, and more just future for America.”

Donald Trump Has Misled American Workers and We’re All Paying the Price

Donald Trump is once again making sweeping statements of success and false promises from sea to shining swing state. But the numbers—and the facts—tell a different story. Donald Trump claims he fights for working-class people and their families. He said he would protect jobs and revive dying industries. His actions have made us less safe and cost us jobs by sending innovation overseas.

He has made workers less safe. Throughout his administration, the number of OSHA inspectors has declined, which has made workplaces less safe. Where it was once difficult for regulators to effectively survey workplaces, it is now physically impossible for inspectors to even visit every site, much less conduct a thorough inspection. Technically, where staffing is now, OSHA only has enough inspectors to inspect workplaces once every 165 years.

The decline of OSHA inspections has very real consequences — particularly in the age of COVID-19. General safety issues are at risk, but while a deadly pandemic ravages the global population, safety regulations are more important than ever. However, OSHA has once again fallen short of standing up for the very people they are tasked to protect. For instance, in the meatpacking industry, one in eleven workers have contracted COVID-19, and the plants that don’t take proper safety precautions — like shutting down production when there is an outbreak — receive fines that are consistently less than what it costs to buy a used car.

Another case in point: the rollback of the Chemical Disaster Rule. This rule was created to protect workers and communities from chemical releases and explosions. After dismantling the rule completely for two years, when it was reinstated, the administration significantly weakened the rule.

This was a rule put in place for a reason. Around our country there have been fires, explosions, and chemical leaks that have killed workers and first responders. This rule was put in place because of what happened at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas (caution that video is disturbing even taken from a significant distance). Fifteen first responders gave their lives and buildings for a mile around the explosion were damaged, including a school that—thankfully and luckily—wasn’t full of kids. By rolling back the Chemical Disaster Rule, he has not only made workplaces less safe, but he has also put communities at risk.

“Donald Trump is the worst president for workers and the environment in our lifetime.”

Donald Trump has again and again touted how clean our environment is, but his actions have made our water less safe and our air more polluted. His disregard for the environment and existing protections is frightening. He chose to roll back methane standards for the oil and gas industry that were put in place to stop the unnecessary leaks and waste seen throughout the industry. Cost-effective technology can stop these leaks and methane is a very potent greenhouse gas that impacts our climate. Carcinogens — like benzene — leak with the methane and endanger workers on the job.

One of Trump’s biggest promises was that he would bring jobs to the U.S. — his actions have done the opposite. Donald Trump is proud to have rolled back regulations that would have spurred innovation and created jobs. For example, creating and installing the technologies to stop the methane leaks in oil and gas fields would have created an estimated 50,000 jobs in the next decade. When he rolled back the methane standards he rolled back those jobs as well.

With emissions standards already in place for years, the automotive industry had already begun to adapt and innovate cleaner cars, trucks, and SUVs. When he rolled back these regulations, he ensured that other countries will eclipse the U.S. in manufacturing these new technologies. The rollback will—by his own administration’s estimate—cost workers in our nation an estimated 50,000–60,000 future manufacturing jobs in the automotive industry.

Donald Trump is the worst president for workers and the environment in our lifetime. He has dismantled worker safety regulations, cut staff at the agency that is supposed to protect workers on the job, and stepped away from environmental policies that keep the nation’s air and water clean. His decisions cost the nation the jobs of the future and endangered our existing workforce — they must be reversed. If you want to learn more about how Donald Trump misled America, read our full, comprehensive report here.

Jason Walsh is the Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance.

BlueGreen Alliance Applauds Governor Whitmer’s Leadership on Climate, Good Jobs, and Just Transition

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today announced an executive order that will put the state on a path to be carbon neutral by 2050. Following the announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance released a statement from Michigan Regional Program Manager Frank Houston:

“We applaud Gov. Whitmer’s leadership on the climate crisis and appreciate that she listened to voices from across the state as she prepared this order.

“We know that clean energy is a tremendous opportunity and need for our state—both to create good-paying, union jobs and to protect our air and water. We also know that this move to cleaner energy impacts workers around the state and now—thanks to Gov. Whitmer’s leadership in this order—we will not leave workers and communities behind as we move forward to a cleaner, fairer energy future.”

New Report by Environmental Justice and Labor Groups Calls for Deep Investments in Social Infrastructure for Climate Resilience

Leading environmental justice and labor groups released a new report today recommending that California policymakers invest in building equitable, community-driven social infrastructure for Californians facing the greatest risks from climate change with the fewest material resources to recover.

Resilience Before Disaster: The Need to Build Equitable, Community-Driven Social Infrastructure, jointly released by Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Service Employees International Union California (SEIU CA), SEIU Local 2015, and the BlueGreen Alliance, makes the case for California to make long-term and deep investments in the resilience of its most vulnerable communities.

“Any crisis is a threat multiplier for inequality,” said Amee Raval, Research Director at Asian Pacific Environmental Network. “Whether it’s a global pandemic, mass power shutoffs, or devastating wildfires, the impacts and risks are dramatically different depending on who you are and where you live.  That’s why we need to strengthen the existing social fabric in communities, coordinate with local governments, invest in resilience hubs and services, and train workers and community members to prepare for and respond to shocks.”

Most of California’s efforts to promote climate adaptation and resilience have focused on improving hard infrastructure–roads, bridges, and other physical infrastructure–without a complementary commitment to social infrastructure, the people, services, and facilities that secure the economic, health, cultural, and social well-being of the community.  

“We’ve heard a lot about resilience in terms of hardening buildings for fire, earthquakes, and other natural and climate disasters,” said Sam Appel, California policy organizer with BlueGreen Alliance. “We need to start thinking of resilience as supporting the people who live inside these buildings.”

“The multi-layered crisis we are facing has put a spotlight on the critical importance of investing in the care workers, social workers, and neighbors who are already part of the social infrastructure of our communities. We often serve as the community’s first responders when there is an emergency,” said April Verrett, President of SEIU Local 2015.  “We need to build the capacity of our caregivers, public services and supports, the healthcare system, and community-based organizations through investment, training, and aligned systems and  networks in order to adequately and equitably respond to the needs of all Californians.”

The report provides a state-level policy framework for community resilience by building out two models: (1) Resilience Hubs and (2) In-Home Resilience. This dual approach to resilience captures the need for both centralized spaces and distributed systems that promote resilience within a community. Importantly, these models integrate disaster response and recovery with amplifying the existing social assets that are already embedded in communities.

Resilience Before Disaster offers a set of recommendations to build resilient communities throughout California:

 

  • Fund Resilience Hubs: California should lead funding efforts to support the development of Resilience Hubs – spaces where communities gather, organize, and access social services on a daily basis – starting in communities with the highest need.  These spaces must be equipped to provide support for disaster response and recovery. The report highlights RYSE Youth Center, a youth-led community center in Richmond, which is taking steps toward becoming an innovative Resilience Hub model by exemplifying a community-led governance approach to infrastructure development and program delivery.
  • Establish Resilience Hub Networks: City and County governments should facilitate the development of local Resilience Hubs to implement community resilience solutions on a regional scale, share best practices, and offer complementary services.
  • Invest in the Care Workforce: Home care workers already have the skills and relationships to assist people with access and functional needs, and often bridge the gap between the populations they serve and public and community agencies. A well-trained and empowered home care workforce can play a key role in disaster preparedness and response and bolster In-Home Resilience for the people they serve.  The state should implement strategies to turn these difficult low-wage jobs into high road careers.
  • Rebuild the Public Sector Workforce: We must commit to growing a robust public sector workforce capable of meeting the needs of vulnerable populations and supporting community resilience. We need a full complement of public health, human services, public works, library, school, parks and recreation, and sustainability workers to achieve our climate goals. 
  • Improve Emergency Response to Protect the Most Vulnerable: The state must target resources to the most vulnerable communities, particularly working-class communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by systemic racism and historic economic disinvestment.  The state must also develop a comprehensive strategy for protecting medically vulnerable populations in the event of power shut offs and increase funding for initiatives to improve disaster preparedness and emergency response efforts for California’s vulnerable populations.

“The time has come for California to make long-term and deep investments in the resilience of its most vulnerable communities,” said Christopher Calhoun, Director of Public Affairs with SEIU California. “With tight budgets and poor fiscal forecasts, there will be pressure to revert to austerity, cut public expenditures, and recreate the conditions that have so severely weakened the safety net. Instead, the state must do exactly the opposite: recover through ambitious investments in people and communities.”

“This pandemic is a teachable moment for elected leaders and the public. The lesson is one that public health nurses already know: the health and safety of the public require robust public health systems, and we have neglected public health for years,” said Markeitha Harris, a public health nurse in Los Angeles County and a member of SEIU Local 721. “We need to learn from our mistakes. We weren’t prepared for the pandemic because our public hospitals, clinics, and other support programs have been chronically underfunded. As climate change continues to create health crises, the role of public health systems will only grow.”

The full report and factsheet are accessible online:

What others are saying:

California Environmental Justice Alliance

“We are witnessing the devastating results of climate change right now, and our communities need to be better prepared, especially for working-class communities of color where decades of underinvestment in public services, combined with economic and social barriers to accessing protective resources, create disproportionate risks.” Jose Torres, Energy Equity Program Manager, California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA)

California Federation of Labor

“After the past few weeks, it’s hard to imagine a future without wildfire, smoke filled air, and intense heat, ” said John Brauer, Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development, California Federation of Labor.  “Fortunately, this report helps us see a future where the people impacted have places to seek respite, and services to rely on to protect them from harm.  We need to invest in the care workforce and vital public services to build resilience in our communities so we don’t leave anyone behind” 

Union of Concerned Scientists

“There is so much we must do to prepare for catastrophes brought on by climate change. At the Union of Concerned Scientists we have been working to make sure that the best science informs the design of critical infrastructure, like bridges, roads, power grids and dams. While these physical infrastructure upgrades are desperately needed, it is equally important that we build the community and social infrastructure to keep people safe. Resilience Before Disaster provides needed insights into how we can better prepare communities for climate disasters.” Jason Barbose, Western States Senior Policy Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists

UC Berkeley Labor Center 

“To recover our economy and make progress in the fight against climate change we need to invest more not less in our social infrastructure and create family-sustaining jobs. Budget cuts and austerity measures will further weaken our communities’ ability to rebound and face future crises. The report proposes the kind of bold actions we need to address the multiple crises facing our state.” Ken Jacobs, Chair, UC Berkeley Labor Center

Communities for A Better Environment

“As our frontline communities experience toxic wildfire smoke, extreme heat, power blackouts, all amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing the dangers of fighting the climate crisis without being prepared. We know the effects of climate change, already intense and frightening, are only going to worsen, and we need to prepare now by investing in social supports like community resilience hubs to meet the needs of those most impacted.” Laura Gracia, CARE Coordinator, Communities for A Better Environment (CBE)

Jennifer Granholm 

“Covid-19, wildfires, and suffocating smoke have exposed gaping holes in our safety net, leaving the most vulnerable at risk and our frontline essential workers stretched to the breaking point. An equitable recovery will require leadership and policy solutions that invest in people and communities, like those offered by this report.”  said Jennifer Granholm, UC Berkeley School of Law & Goldman School of Public Policy and former Governor of Michigan

 ###

 

Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) is an environmental justice organization that brings together California’s Asian immigrant and refugee communities to fight and win campaigns to make our communities healthy, just places where people can thrive. 

SEIU California provides a political and legislative voice for 700,000 workers in California, including home care providers, education workers, city, county, and state workers, nurses and other health care workers, janitors, security officers, airport workers, college professors, and more.

SEIU Local 2015 represents more than 385,000 home care, skilled nursing facility, and assisted living center workers, of every race, faith, and ethnicity, united in our commitment to caring for California’s vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities.

The BlueGreen Alliance unites America’s largest labor unions and its most influential environmental organizations to solve today’s environmental challenges in ways that create and maintain quality jobs and build a stronger, fairer economy.

As Trump Travels to Minnesota and Wisconsin to Tout Record, New Report Spotlights Trump Administration’s Attacks on Workers, the Environment, and Jobs

Ahead of President Trump’s rallies in Minnesota and Wisconsin, the BlueGreen Alliance today released Misled: The Impact of the Trump Administration’s Agenda on Working Families and the Environment, an interactive report exploring the real world impacts of the Trump administration’s actions on workers’ rights and safety, environmental protection, job creation, and pandemic response.

“This report illustrates the many ways that Donald Trump is failing American workers, endangering the environment and our communities, and putting lives at risk,” BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh said. “Families and communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and all around our nation have suffered the consequences of the president’s decisions. This report focuses on the impacts of some of the most egregious actions by the administration on workers’ rights and safety, environmental protection, job creation, and pandemic response, as a comprehensive look at the negative impacts of this administration on the nation would fill the Library of Congress.”

The report found the Trump administration rolled back numerous policies designed to protect workers, communities, and the environment. Under the false premise that these actions would create jobs, President Trump dismantled worker safety regulations, starved the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of staff and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of power, and stepped away from environmental policies that keep the nation’s air and water clean. The report should provide workers and others with the information they need to understand the current impact of these policies and work toward changing them to protect workers and our communities.

The report further explores the impact of the Trump administration on communities of color. The group urged the Trump administration to reverse these actions.

“President Trump’s claims to be pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-environment are demonstrably false, as made clear by his actions over the course of the last three-and-a-half years,” Walsh said. “This president has put countless lives at risk in communities across the nation, he’s failed to protect workers during a massive global health crisis, he’s ceded tens of thousands of jobs to other countries, and he’s allowed for more pollution to be dumped into our air and water. It’s no wonder Trump is running around the country talking about America needing a ‘comeback,’ as every American is living with the consequences of his actions over the last three years.”

Click below to view the report.

Misled

Misled: The Impact of the Trump Administration’s Agenda on Working Families and the Environment

 This report should provide workers and others with the information they need to understand the current impact of these policies and work toward changing them to protect workers and our communities.

There is no doubt the negative impacts of this presidency on working families will be studied in great detail in the years to come. For the purposes of this report, the impacts of some of the most egregious actions on workers’ rights and safety, environmental protection, job creation, and pandemic response will be reviewed. This report sheds light on the Trump administration’s actions that have negatively impacted working families, communities, and workplaces.

Click below to view the report.

Misled

AB 841 supports high-quality jobs, helps prevent COVID-19 transmission in schools, and fights climate change

By JB Tengco, Western States Director.

California, like the rest of the nation, is facing a number of gut punches including a pandemic, systemic racism, historic wildfire season, and unemployment.This September, BlueGreen Alliance is supporting a bill in California that, while not a silver bullet for all of our ailments, aims to move the needle slightly on every one of these issues.

The Healthy Schools, Healthy Air, Healthy Recovery Bill (AB 841), authored by Assemblyman Phil Ting (AD-19), focuses on replacing critical ventilation (HVAC) and clean water infrastructure in schools, and expanding electric vehicle infrastructure. The bill achieves these objectives by authorizing a one-time re-deployment of unspent utility energy efficiency funds, and by deploying electric vehicle infrastructure more quickly.

This important bill passed the legislature and now awaits the approval of Governor Newsom. Our coalition of labor unions and environmental organizations urges him to sign AB 841 into law now. Here’s why:

1. AB 841 focuses public infrastructure and public health investments in working class communities of color.

Investments in charging infrastructure and public school HVAC and water systems can simultaneously reduce greenhouse gases, promote school health and safety, increase access to high-quality careers for workers in disadvantaged communities, focus environmental benefits in those communities, and deliver economic stimulus. This is a win for students, workers, and communities.

2. AB 841 will create good jobs replacing critical ventilation and clean water infrastructure in schools.

These are critical updates that can improve our children’s health in our schools. California public schools have a systemic problem with outdated and inefficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. As we know, the vast majority of COVID-19 cases arise from indoor transmission due to inhalation of airborne particles. For this reason, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends “Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning [HVAC] systems, [to] reduce airborne exposures.”

With most California school buildings closed for the foreseeable future, we can use this time to upgrade HVAC systems to reduce disease transmission and exposure to wildfire smoke when our kids finally go back to the classroom. Importantly, these HVAC improvements will also improve poor indoor air-quality in working-class communities that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution.

In the process of improving school HVAC systems, AB 841 will generate demand for thousands of high road construction careers for California’s disadvantaged workers. AB 841 contains provisions that HVAC contractors hire a skilled workforce with apprenticeship training, which generates demand for apprenticeship graduates—70% of whom are People of Color (PoC) in the state of California—while also ensuring that unionized workers have access to jobs. Requirements for a skilled HVAC workforce also ensure high quality work performance, family-sustaining wages and benefits for workers, and safe and timely completion of state-funded projects.

While COVID-19 transmission and air pollution from wildfire smoke are of high concern right now, AB 841 also addresses another lurking public health crisis: leaky and lead-laden plumbing fixtures in California public schools. A sister program to AB 841’s HVAC improvement program draws down unspent IOU energy efficiency funds to fund school plumbing improvements. This program also benefits from good jobs requirements and priority for school districts in disadvantaged communities.

3. Signing this bill will build high-road careers by accelerating electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and reducing pollution.

AB 841 takes on another environmental issue through significantly ramping up installation of EV charging infrastructure. The California Energy Commission estimates we will be short 80,000 chargers, or roughly one third of our 250,000 public EV charging station goal, by 2025. AB 841 would address this issue head-on by streamlining the state’s process of approving EV infrastructure projects (currently conducted on a case-by-case basis), thus accelerating EV charging installations considerably.

This bill grows good jobs through requiring California’s charging infrastructure be installed b workers who have receive a nationally recognized certification jointly developed by industry, government, and workers. Workforce training requirements also create opportunities for workers of color in the state’s growing apprenticeship system.

4. We’ll all benefit from AB 841.

These benefits have led AB 841 to be supported by schools and teachers, public health experts, labor groups, businesses, and environmental organizations. All supporters, including the BlueGreen Alliance, agree that lawmakers have acted to take advantage of this rare and limited window to improve the health and safety of schools, address climate change and create good jobs—right now.

Now, it is up to Governor Newsom to sign this bill into law and put Californians to work building a safer, sustainable future.

Ahead of Labor Day, BlueGreen Leaders in Michigan Support Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President

“We are enthusiastically supporting Joe Biden for president,” said Frank Houston, BlueGreen Alliance Regional Program Manager for Michigan. “As the nation celebrates Labor Day, we believe Joe Biden has put forward ambitious and achievable plans to tackle the pressing issues facing workers in Michigan—including the health and economic disaster caused by the coronavirus, climate emergency, and the profound racial and economic inequities that the pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated. And he is ready to deliver for Michigan.”

Leaders from the group cited Vice President Biden’s plans to provide relief to working Americans struggling from the economic chaos caused by the Covid-19 virus and put America’s economy back on a path to recovery; efforts to rebuild and retool America’s manufacturing sector and repair and modernize the nation’s infrastructure and create good-paying, union jobs; and his forward-thinking vision to tackle climate change at the scale science demands as reasons for choosing to endorse his candidacy.

“Workers and environmentalists are natural allies because we all want good jobs and healthy workplaces and communities,” said James Harrison, Director of Renewable Energy for the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA). “We are proud to stand with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We look forward to working together to build a future that ensures a clean, healthy environment, and good, union jobs for all of our workers in Michigan.”

The group said Biden’s manufacturing, environmental justice, and sustainable infrastructure and clean energy plans align well with the BlueGreen Alliance’s Solidarity for Climate Action platform. The platform presents a plan to tackle the climate crisis and deliver an economic recovery for working people by retooling and rebuilding the American manufacturing sector and repairing and modernizing the nation’s infrastructure—creating good-paying jobs with benefits and access to training, addressing racial and income inequities, protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink, and ensuring health and safety on the job.

“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris recognize the urgency of the climate crisis and are committed to protecting our communities from air pollution and toxic chemicals in our drinking water,” said Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “In contrast, President Trump has demonstrated a complete and total disregard for our air, land, water and public health, rolling back more than 100 critical rules that protect human health and the environment. The Biden-Harris ticket is the clear choice in November.”

Ahead of Labor Day, BlueGreen Leaders in Minnesota Support Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President

“We are enthusiastically supporting Joe Biden for president,” said Bree Halverson, BlueGreen Alliance Regional Program Manager for Minnesota. “As the nation celebrates Labor Day, we believe Joe Biden has put forward ambitious and achievable plans to tackle the pressing issues facing workers in Minnesota—including the health and economic disaster caused by the coronavirus, the climate emergency, and the profound racial and economic inequities that the pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated. And he is ready to deliver for Minnesota.”

Leaders from the group cited Vice President Biden’s plans to provide relief to working Americans struggling from the economic chaos caused by the Covid-19 virus and put America’s economy back on a path to recovery; efforts to rebuild and retool America’s manufacturing sector and repair and modernize the nation’s infrastructure and create good-paying, union jobs; and his forward-thinking vision to tackle climate change at the scale science demands as reasons for choosing to endorse his candidacy.

“Workers and environmentalists are natural allies because we all want good jobs and healthy workplaces and communities,” said Bob Ryan, Rapid Response Coordinator for United Steelworkers (USW) District 11. “We are proud to stand with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We look forward to working together to build a future that ensures a clean, healthy environment, and good, union jobs for all of our workers in Minnesota.”

The group said Biden’s manufacturing, environmental justice, and sustainable infrastructure and clean energy plans align well with the BlueGreen Alliance’s Solidarity for Climate Action platform. The platform presents a plan to tackle the climate crisis and deliver an economic recovery for working people by retooling and rebuilding the American manufacturing sector and repairing and modernizing the nation’s infrastructure—creating good-paying jobs with benefits and access to training, addressing racial and income inequities, protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink, and ensuring health and safety on the job.

“Minnesotans value clean water and a healthy climate and communities for all—Black, white, urban, and rural. But Donald Trump continues to deny the climate crisis exists—putting us all at risk. Minnesotans need better. Joe Biden is proposing the most aggressive plan ever to tackle the crisis while creating millions of family-sustaining jobs,” said Mary Blitzer, Sierra Club North Star Chapter.  “We will continue working tirelessly in Minnesota to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Come be a voter with us.”

In First-Ever Presidential Endorsement, BlueGreen Alliance Announces Support for Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President

“The BlueGreen Alliance enthusiastically endorses Joe Biden for president,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh. “Biden has put forward ambitious and achievable plans to tackle the pressing issues our nation faces—including the health and economic disaster caused by the coronavirus, climate emergency, and profound racial and economic inequities that the pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated. And he is prepared to deliver.”

Leaders from the groups said the stakes in this election were too high not to weigh in with an endorsement. They cited Vice President Biden’s plans to provide relief to working Americans struggling from the economic chaos caused by the Covid-19 virus and put America’s economy back on a path to recovery; efforts to rebuild and retool America’s manufacturing sector and repair and modernize the nation’s infrastructure and create good-paying, union jobs; and his forward-thinking vision to tackle climate change at the scale science demands as reasons for choosing to endorse his candidacy.

“Our opponents often try to divide us, but workers and environmentalists are natural allies. We all want good jobs and healthy workplaces and communities,” said United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway. “We don’t have to buy the false choice between good jobs and clean air and water. We must have both or we will have neither. We are proud that the BlueGreen Alliance is standing with Joe Biden, and we look forward to working with them to build a future that ensures a clean, healthy environment, and good jobs for all of our workers.”

The group said Biden’s manufacturing, environmental justice and sustainable infrastructure and clean energy plans align well with the organization’s Solidarity for Climate Action platform, a plan to tackle the climate crisis and deliver an economic recovery for working people by retooling and rebuilding the American manufacturing sector and repairing and modernizing the nation’s infrastructure—creating good-paying jobs with benefits and access to training, addressing racial and income inequities, and protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink, and ensuring health and safety on the job.

“While Donald Trump continues to deny climate change exists—even while the West burns and two hurricanes are set to strike the Gulf states—Joe Biden is proposing the most aggressive plan ever to tackle the crisis while creating millions of jobs,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.  “We look forward to continue working tirelessly to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

BlueGreen Alliance Welcomes Release of Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis Report

The BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:

“Americans are already feeling the effects of climate change. The 2020 Hurricane season has already broken records, water level rise is impacting even the Great Lakes, increased droughts and longer fire seasons are decimating the West, and 2020 may well become the hottest year on record.

“At the same time, our nation is battling the interconnected crises of income and racial inequality in the face of a pandemic and massive job loss. We applaud the work of the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis to explore solutions to the climate crisis that will not only address climate change, but will grow union jobs and build a stronger more equitable economy that works for all Americans.

“We are happy to see many solutions included in this report that put working people front and center, including commitments to workers’ rights and labor standards—including in clean energy sectors—to ensure climate investments deliver good jobs and healthier communities; measures to rebuild and invest in our nation’s infrastructure and clean, American manufacturing; and fairness for workers and communities impacted by this transition.”