The following is excerpts from a blog by Gina Coplon-Newfield, Director of the Sierra Club's Green Fllets & Electric Vehicles Initiative. Read the full blog on the Sierra Club's Compass blog.
According to Brad Markell, Executive Director of the AFL-CIO's Industrial Union Council, increased investment in advanced vehicle technology is leading to more domestic jobs. "Why do hybrids and electric vehicles produce more jobs?" asked Markell. "New content," he answered. "Somebody has to engineer it, create production tools, and put the vehicles together."
The following item is cross-posted from the Sierra Club's Compass blog.
Last week in Washington, DC, labor union members, environmentalists, business owners, community leaders and elected officials from across the nation came together for the Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2013 national conference. These broad interests gathered to engage in one of the nation's largest discussions on how to address the climate crisis by building a cleaner, more efficient economy that creates good-paying American jobs.
The conference was jam-packed with leaders like House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sharing their ideas about building strategic partnerships to fight for a clean energy economy. One of the first panels of the event featured the Sierra Club's own Michael Brune as well as labor leaders Larry Cohen of the Communications Workers of America, Mike Fishman of Service Employees International Union, Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers, and David Foster of the BlueGreen Alliance for a discussion of how the labor and environmental movements can come together to build a strong economy and a cleaner environment.
The follow is an excerpt from a blog by Mike Jacobs, Senior Energy Analyst for the Unon of Concerned Scientist. See the full post, including graphics on their website.
I recently spoke at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference on the question: Could all U.S. manufacturing be powered by renewable electricity?
This is an excellent question if you are interested in the future of manufacturing and clean energy.
When asked to think about this, I figured I would point to studies about the future that say 20%, 30%, even 80% renewable electricity are possible. But I realized that in some places, that future has already arrived.
UCS recently released a report, Ramping Up Renewables: Energy You Can Count On, which summarizes plenty of evidence that our modern economy can run on renewable electricity supplies.
The report describes how the grid remains reliable with increasing amounts of variable energy generation from wind and solar power. (See how in the Ramping Up Renewables infographic.) Experience with wind power and solar providing over 50% of the electricity demand already in some times and places proves the electric utility industry knows how to make renewable energy reliable.See summary here.
The following is cross-posted from the Communications Workers of Americas (CWA) website.
The fight for workers' rights is strongly linked to the fight for environmental rights.
That was the message at the opening panel of the BlueGreen Alliance's annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference in Washington, DC. On Monday, CWA President Larry Cohen joined Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, USW President Leo Gerard and SEIU Property Services Division Deputy Director Jon Barton in discussing the need for a broad progressive movement to both address climate change and create good jobs. David Foster, executive director of BlueGreen Alliance and president of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, moderated the panel and took questions from the audience, who asked about everything from pipelines to the new Democracy Initiative.
"Let's put together climate change, democracy and workers' rights and stand up and fight back!" said Cohen to loud applause.
The following item, written by Emily Basham, an Michigan League of Conservation Voters, is excerpts from MCLV's blog. Read the full item on their site.
Recap from April 16: Today marked the first day of the three day long Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference hosted annually in the heart of downtown Washington D.C. It was empowering to join more than 1,500 attendees and hear from leading elected officials, founders and presidents of progressive organizations.
Backed by the labor and environmental movement, this conference takes a stand on climate change and says Americans cannot wait any longer to take action. We are here to learn from leaders who are working to build a clean economy, create green jobs, and protect our environment so we can do the same.
It’s built right in Ohio.
New fuel efficiency guidelines are breaking all rules when it comes to notions about the kind of cars people want to buy. The fuel-efficient Chevy Cruze for example is proving that a car that’s good for the environment is the same kind of car that consumers want to buy. A Wednesday afternoon workshop session that included Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH), Dan Boon from United Steelworkers, David Green with the United Auto Workers, Rob McCulloch from the BlueGreen Alliance and James Winship from IUE-CWA -- moderated by BlueGreen Alliance’s Lee Geisse -- was further testament to that fact.
Beyond the consumer and environmental benefits of the Chevy Cruze, workshop participants emphasized the importance of reading the label to see where products like the Chevy Cruze are manufactured. For example, a tire made in Akron, OH by Goodyear is the same price as a tire made by a Goodyear plant in China. We should make sure then that we’re all buying the tire that’s made in Akron, OH.
A dynamic and energetic mix of speakers kicked off Wednesday workshops and discussions at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. The opening speakers included members of Congress, state and local leaders, along with business and environmental speakers and a Goldman Prize winner showing tremendous bravery in Bogota, Columbia in pursuit of good, green jobs.
Freshman Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham emphasized in her message to attendees that there’s nothing more important than saving the planet. She added we should use every opportunity to make sure we create good jobs while doing so.
Following Congresswoman Grisham, Congressman Bobby Rush (IL-1) received the Green Jobs Champion Award Wednesday morning for his work raising awareness about a range of chemicals that consumers encounter in every day, and for being a tireless advocate for cleaner air and protecting public health. Congressman Rush has leveraged his position on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power to elevate the issue of climate change and draw national attention to how we can best deploy renewable energy.
Even months after Super Storm Sandy, power hadn’t been restored to all residents on the East Coast. That was one of the many events that brought a serious problem to light: Our infrastructure systems — the energy, water and communications networks we rely on and use every day — have not changed, in many ways, since they were originally designed, and they are not able to keep up with the demands of 21st century living. This was the discussion of the second plenary panel during the 2013 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference on Tuesday, April 16.
As Mike Langford, National President of the Utility Workers Union of America, explained, “Our infrastructure is at the end of its life. That is why our national infrastructure earned a grade of D+… Don’t we deserve an A+ water and energy system?”
Charlotte Brody from the BlueGreen Alliance led a panel of experts from IUE-CWA, United Steelworkers and Communications Workers of America (CWA) talking about the creation of ChemHat.org, a new chemical hazard web tool. The website reveals more about the contents of a chemical, exactly how dangerous it is and what happens when workers are exposed to it.
The website provides a wealth of practical information. Many of the problems workers have with regard to chemicals in the workplace stems from a lack of information. For example, the information provided to workers on the chemicals they work with comes in the form of what's called an MSDS sheet. The formatting, fonts and clarity of information on these forms varies widely from one form to the next. In the case of an emergency where toxic chemical exposure takes place, information must be as easy as possible to locate.
The Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference has attracted big name speakers over the years, and this year was no different. Tuesday afternoon, the attendees got to hear from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“High speed rail is coming to America!” Ray LaHood declared to the audience. He also spoke of the importance of Buy America requirements and preparing our country’s infrastructure for climate change. “Construction materials for our new rail projects are coming from rail from facilities in 49 states. That’s good for our workers, good for our travelers and good for the economy. For everything we do, we have an eye on the future… America was built on big ideas and bold actions because generations before us had the courage and the foresight to invest in our future… We owe no less to our children and grandchildren.”
Recent Blog Posts
- From Sierra Club: Green Fleets = Green Jobs
- From Sierra Club: Scenes From Good Jobs, Green Jobs
- From UCS: Could Renewable Energy Power Industrial America? It Already Does!
- From CWA: We Need Good Jobs, Green Jobs
- From MCLV: News from the Good Jobs Green Jobs National Conference
- Dude, Where’s My (Fuel-Efficient) Car?
- Building a Clean Economy Requires Strong Leaders and Perseverance
- Building Our Infrastructure
- How We Get From Dangerous Chemicals to Safer Chemicals in the Workplace
- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood & Nancy Pelosi Address Good Jobs, Green Jobs