Senate Legislation Should Focus on Creating Jobs

BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, encouraging the Committee to pass comprehensive climate change and clean energy jobs legislation.

October 28, 2009

Executive Director David Foster Testifies Wednesday Before U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Climate Change and Clean Energy Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 28, 2009) – BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster will testify this morning before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.

Full testimony is available here.

Foster will encourage the Committee to pass comprehensive climate change and clean energy jobs legislation that includes an emphasis on job creation, particularly in manufacturing, construction, and energy efficiency. Climate legislation should include sufficient safeguards for energy-intensive and trade-sensitive industries so that they can compete in the global economy. These strategies are essential for creating and saving millions of jobs building a clean energy economy in the United States.

“The transition to a clean energy economy, anchored by comprehensive climate change and clean energy legislation, is a tremendous opportunity for strengthening and expanding American manufacturing,” said Foster. “American workers will produce the clean energy technologies of the 21st century, but only if this legislation is designed to create and preserve jobs in the United States.”

A recent report by the University of California, Berkeley showed that the House climate and energy legislation could create 1.9 million jobs, boost annual household income by up to $1,175, and spur GDP growth by up to $111 billion. A study released earlier this year by the BlueGreen Alliance showed that if the U.S. enacted a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) of 25 percent by 2025, more than 850,000 manufacturing jobs could be created across all 50 states by U.S. firms that already exist today.

“Included in any strategy to create jobs in clean energy is a strong, national RES and Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, which will drive the expansion of the American clean energy economy and make the U.S. a leader in the increasingly competitive global clean energy industry,” Foster said.  “In addition, we must cap carbon emissions to create the necessary incentives for America to develop its clean energy economy. Without true emissions reductions, we won’t achieve our environmental goals or our job creation goals.”

The BlueGreen Alliance released its policy statement on climate change earlier this year, which endorsed comprehensive climate change and clean energy legislation that included a focus on creating millions of family-sustaining green jobs, achieved reductions in carbon emissions to a level necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change, and provided safeguards for energy-intensive and trade-sensitive industries that allow them to compete in the global economy.

Today’s testimony is available at 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 green jobs in the United States. Launched in 2006 by the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club, the BlueGreen Alliance has grown to include the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).