Women Leaders from Ohio’s Unions & Environmental Groups Support Clean Air Protections

Women representing many of Ohio's labor and environmental organizations today demonstrated their support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

January 12, 2012

 Event in Statehouse Ladies’ Gallery to Highlight EPA’s Efforts to Protect Public Health and The Environment While Promoting Economic Growth 

COLUMBUS, OH (January 12, 2012) — Women representing many of Ohio’s labor and environmental organizations today demonstrated their support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act at a press conference held in the Ladies’ Galley in the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

Representatives from the Ohio AFL-CIO, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Steelworkers (USW), and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) joined State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) for the event. The groups highlighted resolutions passed by labor organizations and local unions throughout the state in support of EPA’s authority to regulate the pollution that causes global warming.

“EPA regulation of greenhouse gases, coupled with important policies to expand clean energy jobs and address international competitiveness, will create good American jobs, strengthen our economy and launch the U.S. into the lead of the 21st century global economy,” said Petee Talley, the Secretary-Treasurer for the Ohio AFL-CIO. “In the long run, the real choice is not jobs or environment. It’s both or neither. What kind of jobs will be possible in a world of depleted resources, polluted water and air?”

“We’re here today to support protections that will move America to a clean energy economy, while ensuring that we have cleaner air to breathe and we leave a better environmental and economic future for our children and grandchildren,” said Sen. Turner.

Since the BlueGreen Alliance — a nationwide partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations — announced their support of EPA greenhouse gas regulations, more than 50 Ohio state and local labor organizations representing an estimated 70,000 Ohioans have passed resolutions supporting cleaner air and a more competitive and efficient economy.

“Opponents of cleaner air and jobs often use the economic troubles of our country to move America backward to a time when polluters were free to pollute with no repercussions,” said Cathy Wallace, President of USW Local 730. “They cite costs to industry with no discussion of the effect that pollution has on public health costs, our environment or the well-being of our children and families.”

“We have to get moving on common-sense solutions to improve the environment and to improve the public health of workers and our communities,” said Samantha Trueblood, the City Director of SEIU Local 1. “Regulating greenhouse gasses, along with these common-sense policies, will do that while also creating good jobs and launching the U.S. to the head of the pack in a race for the global clean energy economy.”

The event was part of the BlueGreen Alliance’s Jobs21! campaign — a nationwide grassroots drive for good jobs in the 21st century.

“The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were implemented 40 years ago and have improved the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the environment in which we live,” said Allison Petonic, Political Director for UFCW Local 1059. “Over and over again, the environmental safeguards of the last 40 years have resulted in waste reduction, energy efficiency, and greater economic competitiveness — creating thousands of new jobs and making existing jobs more secure.”

“Congress should reject proposals that weaken the EPA’s authority to regulate air pollution under the Clean Air Act,” said Tracy Sabetta, representing the National Wildlife Federation in Ohio. “Environmental and public health protections — combined with complementary policies — will ensure that the U.S. remains economically competitive in the 21st century global economy.”