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

Michigan could gain 34,000 manufacturing jobs by passing a 25 percent by 2025 Renewable Electricity Standard, according to labor and environmental leaders who gathered to call on Congress to pass comprehensive climate change legislation.

November 12, 2009

BlueGreen Alliance Report Provides Recommendations for Creating Manufacturing Jobs in Michigan 

Detroit, MI (November 11, 2009) Highlighting a report showing that Michigan could gain 34,000 manufacturing jobs by passing a 25 percent by 2025 Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), labor and environmental leaders gathered today at the Michigan AFL-CIO to call 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 manufacturing clean energy,” said Mark Gaffney, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “As the Senate debates comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation, recommendations are vital to creating a clean energy economy that will create good paying manufacturing jobs to replace the ones we have lost here in Michigan.”

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 the BlueGreen Alliance and the Renewable Energy Policy Project that estimated more than 850,000 manufacturing jobs could be created across the United States, including more than 34,000 in Michigan, 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.

“We can create hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. by building a clean energy economy,” said Tiffany Hartung, Associate Field Organizer for the Michigan Sierra Club. “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 Leary, a steelworker.  “The member groups of Blue Green Alliance 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 Blue Green Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy.