VACAVILLE, CA (October 20, 2011) – At PG&E’s Vaca-Dixon Solar Station, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield), a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, today joined representatives from the BlueGreen Alliance, PG&E, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and IBEW 1245 solar energy workers in calling for clean energy jobs that can recharge our economy.
Electrical engineers who work at the facility and whose livelihoods depend on investments in clean energy stood on hand. Since 2009, jobs in the solar energy have doubled to more than 100,000 – a quarter of which are in California. According to the Brooking Institute, California is home to nearly 320,000 clean energy jobs. However, unfair trade practices from China and heavily subsidized solar facilities around the world are cutting into America’s market share .
“Competition for solar energy jobs is heating up, and the winners and losers of the 21st Century Global Clean Energy Race are being determined in the here and now,” Congressman Garamendi said. “We can either wave the white flag of surrender – which seems to be the Tea Party energy plan – or we can sustain and create good American jobs in the $5 trillion global energy industry.”
Congressman Garamendi and the BlueGreen Alliance came together to discuss the President’s American Jobs Act, Congressman Garamendi’s Make It In America clean energy legislation, and the Blue Green Alliance’s Jobs 21 Agenda to keep and create American clean energy jobs.
Lisa Hoyos, the California Director of the BlueGreen Alliance said, “California is taking the lead in scaling up renewable energy, and we’re seeing the good that comes from that in terms of job creation and environmental sustainability. We are working with Members of Congress across the country to pass policies that will build a clean energy, good jobs future.”
The Vaca-Dixon Solar Station, a 2-megawatt solar pilot project near Vacaville, CA completed in June 2010, is part of PG&E’s 5-year plan to promote the development of up to 500 megawatts of medium-sized solar photovoltaic projects in its service area. The facility was created by PG&E to help California achieve its AB 32 climate change goals. The solar panels at the facility were assembled in America.
President Obama’s American Jobs Act is a comprehensive jobs proposal to put millions of Americans back to work and to avoid a double dip recession. It includes a plan to modernize 35,000 schools, including green retrofits, and to invest $10 billion in a National Infrastructure Bank to leverage public and private capital for competitive loans for infrastructure projects, including clean energy.
A national grassroots initiative by the BlueGreen Alliance, Jobs21 aims to build a 21st century economy that secures our existing jobs and creates new jobs for America through investments in renewable energy, manufacturing, transportation, energy efficiency, broadband, and energy and water infrastructure.