Labor, Environmental Groups Call on Congress to Create Clean Energy Jobs

Highlighting a report showing that Pennsylvania could gain 42,000 manufacturing jobs by passing a 25 percent by 2025 Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), labor and environmental leaders today called on Congress to pass comprehensive climate change legislation that creates clean energy manufacturing jobs in the United States.

November 20, 2009

BlueGreen Alliance Report Provides Recommendations for Creating Manufacturing Jobs in Pennsylvania 

Pittsburgh, PA (November 20, 2009) Highlighting a report showing that Pennsylvania could gain 42,000 manufacturing jobs by passing a 25 percent by 2025 Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), labor and environmental leaders today called on Congress to pass comprehensive climate change legislation that creates clean energy manufacturing jobs in the United States.

“Our state and nation need to lead the world in clean energy production,” said Randy Jones, Business Representative for District Lodge 98 International Association of Machinists (IAM) at Voith Hydro in York.   “As the Senate debates comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation, smart policies like these are vital to creating a clean energy economy that will create good paying jobs to replace the ones we have lost here in Pennsylvania.  We can create jobs developing, engineering, manufacturing, and constructing clean energy solutions right here at home.”

The press conference comes after the release of a report by the BlueGreen Alliance, Building a Clean Energy Assembly Line: How Renewable Energy Can Revitalize U.S. Manufacturing and the American Middle Class, which outlines specific recommendations for creating hundreds of thousands of clean energy manufacturing jobs in the United States, including market building, financing, capacity-building, and market reforms.

A fully copy of the report is available at www.bluegreenalliance.org.

The analysis builds on a report earlier this year by BlueGreen Alliance and the Renewable Energy Policy Project that estimated more than 850,000 manufacturing jobs could be created across the United States, including 42,668 in Pennsylvania, with the enactment of a federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) of 25 percent by 2025. With a strong RES, more than 42,000 existing manufacturers could experience growth based on the demand for parts and more than 850,000 jobs in existing U.S. firms across the country could be created if the component parts for clean energy are manufactured in the United States.

“Building a clean energy economy won’t just mean manufacturing jobs, we’ll also create opportunities in construction, research and development, and other sectors of our economy,” said Duane Sterner, President of Local Lodge 1400 IAM.  “We’ll create whole new industries and establishing America as a global leader in clean energy technology while protecting our environment and making us more energy independent.”

“We must move our country forward to take the lead globally on manufacturing our own clean energy future,”said Ed Bernat, Unit President United Steelworkers Local 2635-24. “The labor and environmental communities know there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between doing something good for our environment and good for our economy. Investing in clean energy means we can do both.”

The report was developed using research compiled by the Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP). A full copy can be found on the BlueGreen Alliance’s Web site: www.bluegreenalliance.org.

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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 green economy.