BlueGreen Alliance Says Failing to Extend Tax Credits Detrimental To Creating Middle-Class Jobs, Improving Environment
Minneapolis, MN (August 1, 2008) As the unemployment rate reached a four-year high, and after Congress failed this week to extend essential renewable-energy tax credits, the BlueGreen Alliance said today that the U.S. is missing an enormous opportunity to create middle-class green jobs that will reinvigorate our economy, increase our energy independence and fight the global-climate crisis.
“The future of our economy depends on investments in renewable energy sources like wind and solar power,” said David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “We already know that hundreds of thousands of Americans work in jobs that could contribute to a green economy. Failing to extend these tax credits would be a missed opportunity to simultaneously create jobs and make our country more energy independent, while at the same time doing our part to improve the environment for our kids and our grandkids.”
The Department of Labor Friday announced that U.S. employers eliminated 51,000 jobs in July, sending the unemployment rate to a four-year high. Meanwhile, the Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 would extend $18 billion of renewable energy tax credits. The American Wind Energy Association estimated that $19 billion in investment and 116,000 jobs were at risk in renewable energy industries if the tax credits expire. [New York Times, 8/1/08; Associated Press, 7/30/08; AWEA, 7/30/08]
“We need a new energy policy that reinvests in America,” continued Foster. “Extending these renewable energy tax credits is a necessary step to moving our country and our economy forward – keeping and creating good jobs here at home that reinvigorate the economy and combat the global climate crisis.”
The BlueGreen Alliance, with the Green Jobs for America campaign, released a report in June, produced by University of Massachusetts PERI and the Center for American Progress, which showed that workers at every skill level will be in high demand and enjoy greater job security in key industries essential to building a clean-energy economy in America and fighting global warming. Hundreds of thousands of workers in the U.S. already possess the vast majority of skills and occupations necessary to reduce global warming and make the shift to a clean-energy economy
The BlueGreen Alliance is a unique partnership between the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club to realize the economic potential of global-warming solutions and fair-trade policies. Visit online at www.bluegreenalliance.org.