Labor, Environmental Leaders Set Clean Energy Agenda for Lame-Duck Congress

It's now or never (at least not in the next 2 years)! The 111th Congress still has time to enact legislation to set the policies that will make America energy independent and create hundred of thousands of green jobs. After January when the GOP takes control of the House, chances are almost nill that any significant climate change legislation will be passed.

To help the lame-duck session of Congress, the BlueGreen Alliance released today an agenda that outlines seven policies urgently needed to jump-start the clean economy.

"It is vital that during this lame-duck period Congress focus on creating jobs, and we can do that with common-sense policies that will jumpstart the clean energy economy," said David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance. "Working people across the country can't afford to wait, the U.S. economy can't afford to wait, and Congress can't afford to wait to embrace clean energy as a strategy for creating jobs."

The clean energy agenda, entitled "Seven Simple Steps: The Best Job-Creating Policies for What Remains of the 111th Congress," urges Congress to pass seven policies to jumpstart the clean energy economy:

  • a Federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)
  • Home Star, the residential energy efficiency incentive program
  • Building Star, for commercial building efficiency
  • Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
  • Advance Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loans
  • an extension of the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit
  • the Robert C. Byrd Miner Safety and Health Act.

"We can put people back to work with policies like an RES and investments in manufacturing," said Leo W. Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers. "We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines as China and Europe pull ahead in the race for clean energy. The U.S. is poised to compete in the global clean energy economy, but only if we act soon to create these jobs right here at home."

"In the remaining weeks of 2010, creating jobs must be our top priority. Congress should move forward with policies that will create jobs for the millions of Americans who are still out of work," said Bob King, president of the United Auto Workers. "Critical to this job creating effort is investments in green technologies because these are the jobs of the future - the jobs that will maintain our great American middle class."

Read the press release and listen to the press conference on the BlueGreen Alliance website. November 16, 2010.