Labor, Environmental Leaders Set Clean Energy Agenda for Lame-Duck Congress

Stressing the urgency of critical policies to create jobs while reducing emissions and making America more energy independent, the BlueGreen Alliance today released a clean energy agenda for the remaining weeks of the 111th Congress.

November 15, 2010

BlueGreen Alliance Releases Agenda for Creating Jobs, Reducing Emissions and Making America More Energy Independent

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 15, 2010) Stressing the urgency of critical policies to create jobs while reducing emissions and making America more energy independent, the BlueGreen Alliance today released a clean energy agenda for the remaining weeks of the 111th Congress. The agenda outlines seven key policies that will jumpstart the clean energy economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country.

Read the agenda and listen to the audio of today’s press conference call.

“It is vital that during this lame-duck period Congress focus on creating jobs, and we can do that with common-sense policies that will jumpstart the clean energy economy,” said David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Working people across the country can’t afford to wait, the U.S. economy can’t afford to wait, and Congress can’t afford to wait to embrace clean energy as a strategy for creating jobs.”

The clean energy agenda, entitled “Seven Simple Steps: The Best Job-Creating Policies for What Remains of the 111th Congress,” urges Congress to pass seven policies to jumpstart the clean energy economy. Among them are a federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), Home Star and Building Star, extension of the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, and the Robert C. Byrd Miner Safety and Health Act.

“We can put people back to work with policies like an RES and investments in manufacturing,” said Leo W. Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers. “We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines as China and Europe pull ahead in the race for clean energy. The U.S. is poised to compete in the global clean energy economy, but only if we act soon to create these jobs right here at home.”

Also included in the seven-step agenda is extension of the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Loans – key to helping to rebuild American auto manufacturing – and extension of the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

“In the remaining weeks of 2010, creating jobs must be our top priority. Congress should move forward with policies that will create jobs for the millions of Americans who are still out of work,” said Bob King, president of the United Auto Workers. “Critical to this job creating effort is investments in green technologies because these are the jobs of the future – the jobs that will maintain our great American middle class.”

“Moving forward with such job-creating policies as a renewable energy standard, Home Star and Building Star – and making investments in clean energy manufacturing – will be a boon not only to the economy, but to efforts to reduce global warming pollution and provide a cleaner, safer environment for the next generation,” said Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Listen to the audio of the call.