Making Green Jobs Good Jobs

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 03 Feb 2009 16:00:00 GMT

Senate Finance Committee member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Energy and Commerce Committee member Jay Inslee, D-Wash., will join Laborers’ International Union general president Terence O’Sullivan, Sierra Club political director Cathy Duvall, and clean energy business leaders and workers for a news conference on Tuesday, February 3 at 11 a.m. ET at the United States Capitol to urge Congressional leaders to take bold action to create a new Green American Dream for working people by making sure the newly created green jobs are good jobs that can sustain families and fuel economic recovery.

Speakers will release a new report analyzing the varied quality of existing green jobs (some paying as little as $8.25 an hour), and urge Congress to take bold action to ensure that the major public investments in Congress’ economic recovery and reinvestment plan create a green economy that rebuilds the middle class and renews the American Dream for America’s workers.

The report release comes a day before hundreds of labor, environmental and business advocates go to Capitol Hill — on Wednesday, February 4 — for Green Jobs Advocacy Day to educate lawmakers about the job-creating opportunities that exist in the green economy.

Participants
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
  • Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.
  • Terence O’Sullivan, general pres., LIUNA
  • Cathy Duvall, political dir., Sierra Club
  • Michael Peck, dir. Human Resources, Gamesa
  • Dennis Wilde, Gerding Edlen Development
  • David Foster, exec. dir., Blue Green Alliance
  • Perrette Hopkins, trainee, Garden State Alliance for a New Economy

Obama's Pick for Green Jobs: Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary

Posted by Wonk Room Thu, 18 Dec 2008 21:19:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

President-elect Barack Obama has reportedly completed his Cabinet with the selection of Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) as Secretary of Labor. Solis, a five-term representative from East Los Angeles, is a progressive leader in the fight for green jobs, as both a “stalwart friend of the unions” and the author of the first environmental justice law in the nation. At this summer’s National Clean Energy Summit, convened by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Solis spoke about her commitment to solving global warming through a clean energy economy for all:

Our nation is at a crossroads right now. We can choose to transition to a clean energy economy that secures our energy supply and combats climate change or we can continue down the same old path of uncertainty and insecurity that we’re currently in. Current economic conditions, particularly for under-served, under-represented minority communities underscore the need to transition to clean energy technology.
Watch it:

The Green Jobs Act authored by Solis and passed into law as part of the 2007 energy bill was not funded at all. Green For All and the Center for American Progress are calling for full funding of this legislation.

New Report: Stimulus Plan For 2 Million Green Jobs In Two Years

Posted by Wonk Room Wed, 10 Sep 2008 15:08:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

Yesterday, the Center for American Progress released Green Recovery, a new report by Dr. Robert Pollin and University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute economists. This report demonstrates how a new Green Recovery program that invests $100 billion over two years would create 2 million new jobs, with a significant proportion in the struggling construction and manufacturing sectors. It is clear from this research that a strategy to invest in the greening of our economy will create more jobs, and better jobs, compared to continuing to pursue a path of inaction marked by rising dependence on fossil fuel billionaires.

Job Creation

To create 2 million new jobs within two years, the overall level of fiscal expansion will need to be around $100 billion, or roughly the same as the portion of the April 2008 stimulus program that was targeted at expanding household consumption. This green economic recovery program will create more jobs and better paying jobs. If Congress were to decide as part of a domestic oil production and gas price reduction effort to spend $100 billion on new oil and gas subsidies and subsidizing gasoline and oil prices, only a quarter as many jobs would be created:

Stimulus Package Comparison
The plan calls for most of the stimulus to go directly to the private sector, with $50 billion for tax credits and $4 billion for federal loan guarantees. $46 billion in direct government spending would support public building retrofits, the expansion of mass transit, freight rail, and smart electrical grid systems, and new investments. This $100 billion investment is targeted at six key sectors in building a green economy today: <!-more->
  • Retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency
  • Expanding mass transit and freight rail
  • Constructing smart electrical grid transmission systems
  • Wind power
  • Solar power
  • Next-generation biofuels

The Green Recovery program is part of a comprehensive low-carbon energy strategy and could be paid for with proceeds from auctions of carbon permits under a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.

Center for American Progress President and CEO John Podesta explains why the time for a green recovery is now:
It is time for a new vision for the economic revitalization of the nation and a restoration of American leadership in the world. We must seize this precious opportunity to mobilize the country and the international community toward a brighter, more prosperous future. At the heart of this opportunity is clean energy, remaking the vast energy systems that power the nation and the world. We must fundamentally change the way we produce and consume energy and dramatically reduce our dependence on oil. The economic opportunities provided by such a transformation are vast, not to mention the national security benefits of reducing oil dependence and the pressing need to fight global warming. The time for action is now.

In a press briefing introducing the report, Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers of America, said: “The point of view of the Steelworkers is quite simple: An energy-efficient green economy creates jobs, and creates jobs in America.”

When asked what are the minimum steps Congress and the president must take this session, Van Jones (Green For All) and Frances Beinecke (NRDC) identified three key elements:
Congress needs to appropriate funds ($125 million) for the Green Jobs Act

Congress needs to appropriate funds for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant

Congress needs to renew and extend the production and investment tax credits for renewable energy.

Conservatives in Congress are threatening to filibuster these efforts, and President Bush is threatening vetoes—even to shut down the government to protect oil companies at the expense of everyone else.

State fact sheets: Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Florida | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oregon | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | Tennessee | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin

USCAP Offshoot Announces Support For Lieberman-Warner

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 02 Jun 2008 20:24:00 GMT

A coalition of corporations, labor, religious and environmental organizations has announced its support of Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) manager’s mark of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. Several are members of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), which called for mandatory climate legislation in January 2007, but more recently has been wrapped in internal conflict.

The letter begins:
The undersigned companies and organizations urge you to vote in favor of the Climate Security Act, S. 3036 (formerly S. 2191), which is expected to be considered by the full Senate beginning June 2. This is a very important vote on a bipartisan plan to address climate change. Prompt action on climate change is essential to protect America’s economy, security, quality of life and natural environment.

USCAP signatories are Alcoa, Environmental Defense Action Fund, Exelon Corporation, FPL Group, General Electric, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, NRG Energy, Inc, and PG&E Corporation. Non-USCAP signatories are Calpine Corporation, Interfaith Power and Light Campaign, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Izaak Walton League of America, National Grid, National Parks Conservation Association, Pew Environment Group, Public Service Enterprise Group, Trout Unlimited, and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting (UA).

Full text is below:

Alcoa * Calpine Corporation * Environmental Defense Action Fund * Exelon Corporation * FPL Group * General Electric * Interfaith Power and Light Campaign * International Brotherhood of Boilermakers * Izaak Walton League of America * National Grid * National Parks Conservation Association * National Wildlife Federation * Natural Resources Defense Council * NRG Energy, Inc. * Pew Environment Group * PG&E Corporation * Public Service Enterprise Group * Trout Unlimited * UAM

Dear Senator:

The undersigned companies and organizations urge you to vote in favor of the Climate Security Act, S. 3036 (formerly S. 2191), which is expected to be considered by the full Senate beginning June 2. This is a very important vote on a bipartisan plan to address climate change. Prompt action on climate change is essential to protect America’s economy, security, quality of life and natural environment.

The Climate Security Act, as revised in the manager’s substitute amendment released last week, sets forth a sound overall framework for reducing America’s emissions of greenhouse gases. Most notably, it establishes an emissions cap that steadily reduces greenhouse gas emissions from current levels at a rate of about 1.8% annually. The bill creates a flexible cap-and-trade system to achieve these reductions at lower cost by tapping the power of free markets. It includes an unprecedented national investment in zero- and low-carbon technologies, and includes important policies to advance energy efficiency and alternative energy sources. The bill provides assistance to small energy consumers, including low-income families, to ease the transition to a low-carbon economy. And the bill protects American industry to ease the transition to a cleaner future.

We all support the framework and approach contained in the Climate Security Act. However, we also recognize that there is continued work to be done to refine the details of the legislation through the amendment process in the Senate and as a bill is taken up in the House. Some of the undersigned groups have already communicated with you on amendments and will continue to do so and others may do so later.

However, we think it is notable and a testament to the work of the bill’s sponsors and contributors that such a diverse group of interests are united on the following essential issue: A “yes” vote for the Climate Security Act represents historic leadership to advance bipartisan solutions to climate change; a “no” vote will slow progress and maintain the status quo, which only increases the risks of unavoidable consequences and potentially greater economic costs that could result from the need for even steeper reductions in the future. Sincerely,

Lee Califf Director, Government Affairs

Alcoa Yvonne A. McIntyre Vice President, Federal Legislative Affairs Calpine Corporation

Elizabeth Thompson Legislative Director Environmental Defense Action Fund

Betsy Moler Executive VP, Government and Enviro Affairs and Public Policy Exelon Corporation

Chris Bennett Executive Vice President FPL Group

Ann R. Klee Vice President Corporate Environmental Programs General Electric

The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham Founder and President The Regeneration Project Interfaith Power and Light Campaign

Newton B. Jones International President The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers

Scott Kovarovics Conservation Director Izaak Walton League of America

Thomas B. King Executive Director of Electricity Distribution and Generation National Grid

Mark Wenzler Director, Clean Air and Climate Programs National Parks Conservation Association

Jeremy Symons Executive Director, Global Warming Program National Wildlife Federation

David Hawkins Director of Climate Programs Natural Resources Defense Council

Steven Corneli Vice President Market and Climate Policy NRG Energy, Inc.

Phyllis Cuttino Director, US Global Warming Campaign Pew Environment Group

Melissa Lavinson Director, Federal Environmental Affairs and Corporate Responsibility PG&E Corporation

Eric Svenson VP of Environment, Health and Safety Public Service Enterprise Group

Steve Moyer Vice President for Government Affairs Trout Unlimited

William P. Hite General President United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada

The Climate Policy Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 02 Apr 2008 11:00:00 GMT

Real progress on climate change issues requires new, manageable policy. It’s time to get to work. The Climate Policy Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together is 2008’s must attend conference for those looking for straight talk on U.S. policy developments.

Join A&WMA, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. (R-UT), and ranking representatives from the environmental community in Arlington, VA April 2-3, 2008 for a climate change event that breaks new ground.

Get down to business on positions, perspectives and predictions with issue-leaders from:

  • Natural Resources Defense Council (USCAP)
  • 3M Corp.
  • Duke University
  • Environmental Defense Fund (USCAP)
  • Hogan & Hartson
  • U.S Environmental Protection Agency
  • Clean Air Institute Asia
  • UK Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
  • The U.S. Department of Energy
  • The Electric Power Research Institute
  • The United Mine Workers of America
  • U.S. DOE’s National Energy Technology Lab
  • The American Petroleum Institute
  • The World Resources Institute (USCAP)
  • The Center for Clean Air Policy
  • Analysis Group, Inc.
  • Edison Electric Institute
  • DTE Energy
  • Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment
  • ES&P LLC
  • Environmental Council of the States
  • National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA)
  • Utah Department of Environmental Quality
  • RTP Environmental Associates, Inc.
  • Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District
  • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
  • Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
  • Arizona Public Service
  • The LEVON Group
  • The Energy and Resources Institute, North America (TERI NA)
  • Pew Center for Global Climate Change (USCAP)

Marriott Crystal City Gateway
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
Phone: 703-920-3230
Fax: 703-271-5212

To register, download the registration form and return it with your payment to:

Registrar, Air & Waste Management Association
420 Fort Duquesne Blvd., 3rd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1435 USA
Fax: 412-232-3450
Phone: 412-232-3444

Important Note! The advance registration deadline was extended from March 10 to March 17.

Refund Policy:

If written notice of cancellation is received on or before March 19, 2008, payment will be refunded, less a $75 cancellation fee. (Cancellation fees apply regardless of payment method). Substitutions may be made at any time; payment for any difference is due at the time of substitution. This refund policy applies to all occurrences, including weather-related events and other natural disasters. In the unlikely occurrence of event cancellation, the Association is not liable for any expenses incurred by the registrant other than the full refund of registration fee(s) paid.

Continuing Education Credit Opportunities:

Conference attendees may be eligible for continuing education credit. For more information, please contact Autumn Secrest, Programs Coordinator, at 412-232-3444 ext. 6031, or asecrest@awma.org.

Conference Committee:

Conference Co-chairs:

  • William J. Palermo, PE, Principal, RTP Environmental Associates, Inc.
  • John S. Seitz, Partner, ES&P, LLC

Organizing Committee Members:

  • A. Gwen Eklund, Director, Power, TRC
  • Peter F. Hess, PE, DEE, QEP
  • Miriam Lev-On, Executive Director, The LEVON Group, LLC
  • C. V. Mathai, Ph.D., QEP, Manager for Environmental Policy, Arizona Public Service
  • Jim Pfeiffer, Environmental Advisor, Air Quality, BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.
  • Jayne M. Somers, Program Manager, U.S. EPA Climate Change Division
  • Richard W. Sprott, Executive Director, Utah Department of Environmental Quality
  • C. Flint Webb, Project Manager, SAIC

Investor Summit on Climate Risk

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 14 Feb 2008 15:53:00 GMT

The 2008 Investor Summit on Climate Risk will bring together more than 450 institutional investors, Wall Street leaders and CEOs from around the world to consider the scale and urgency of climate change risks, as well as the economic opportunities of a global transition to a clean energy future.

Purpose

The purpose of the Summit is to provide a high-level forum for state treasurers, leading institutional investors, and financial services firms from around the world to consider the scale and urgency of climate change risks, as well as the economic opportunities of a global transition to a clean energy future.

Objectives

Based on a vision of hope and opportunity, the Summit will focus on how investors can advance solutions to climate change, with a particular emphasis on the benefits of energy efficiency. The Summit aims to help investors:
  • Examine recent scientific findings on climate risk and technological solutions
  • Assess potential capital flows into energy efficiency and clean technologies
  • Learn how treasurers, institutional investors and financial services firms worldwide are factoring climate risk into their policies and strategies
  • Consider prudent steps investors can take to address climate risk and opportunities

Background

The 2008 Summit builds on the groundbreaking success of the first two UN Investor Summits on November 21, 2003, and May 10, 2005. Hundreds of institutional investors and asset managers from around the world, representing trillions of dollars in assets, attended the previous Summits. The information they shared raised profound concerns about investor exposure to climate risk, the future security of investment assets, and the fiduciary duty to take prudent steps to address climate risk on behalf of shareholders and beneficiaries. Information on previous Summits can be found at the Investor Network on Climate Risk website.

Climate Risk – and Opportunity

Climate change poses regulatory, legal, physical and competitive risks for companies. In the two years since the 2005 Summit there has been a growing recognition that climate change presents serious risks, not only for businesses and investments, but also for the global economy. Left unattended, risks from climate change will worsen over time, harming company assets and global investment portfolios. Leading economists, investors, and business leaders have stated recently that the costs of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are both affordable and significantly lower than the costs of inaction. Where there are risks, there are also opportunities, and the business opportunities posed by addressing climate change are significant. With the proper government policies and market conditions, low-carbon technologies that are available today could be more broadly deployed, and significant reductions in emissions could be achieved over the next few decades—all while creating vast new economic opportunities and new jobs.

Agenda

7:30 am – Registration and Coffee (enter at UN Visitors Entrance, 1st Avenue @ 46th Street)

9:00 am – Welcoming Remarks (Trusteeship Council Chamber, 2nd Floor)
  • Amir A. Dossal, Executive Director, United Nations Fund for International Partnerships
  • Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
  • Timothy E. Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation
9:15 am – Climate Change: Scientific Findings, Technological Solutions
  • John P. Holdren, Professor, Harvard University & Director, Woods Hole Research Center – presentation and discussion
10:00 am – The Case for Investing in Energy Productivity
  • Diana Farrell, Director, McKinsey Global Institute – presentation 10:20 am – Discussion
  • Mindy S. Lubber, President, Ceres & Director, Investor Network on Climate Risk (moderator)
10:45 am – Panel and Discussion: Unleashing the Business Potential for Clean Energy
  • Timothy E. Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation (moderator)
  • Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, International Energy Agency
  • Peter A. Darbee, Chairman, CEO, & President, PG&E Corporation
  • Vinod Khosla, Founding CEO, Sun Microsystems & Founder, Khosla Ventures
12:00 pm – Panel and Discussion: Factoring Climate Change into Institutional Investment Strategies
  • John Chiang, Controller, State of California (moderator)
  • Donald MacDonald, Trustee Director, BT Pension Scheme
  • Denise L. Nappier, Treasurer, State of Connecticut
  • Russell Read, Chief Investment Officer, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)
  • Alex Sink, Chief Financial Officer, State of Florida

1:00 pm – Luncheon (Delegates Dining Room, 4th Floor; closed to press)

  • Luncheon Welcome: Richard H. Murray, Managing Director & Chief Claims Strategist, Swiss Re
  • UN Welcome: Dr. Srgjan Kerim, President, 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly
  • Introduction: Jeff Skoll, Founder & Chairman, Skoll Foundation & Participant Productions
  • Featured Speaker: Al Gore, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner; Former Vice President of the United States; Chairman, Generation Investment Management

AFL-CIO Letter Lists Concerns With Lieberman-Warner

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 08 Nov 2007 21:56:00 GMT

In a letter to Sen. Boxer, the AFL-CIO lists its concerns with Lieberman-Warner (S 2191), referring back to testimony at the July 24 hearing on the draft legislation.

The AFL-CIO letter criticizes the adoption of the Sanders amendment to limit advanced-vehicle moneys to 35 MPG or higher and the Barrasso amendment clarifying the types of coal eligible for R&D subsidy.

The other delineated criticisms:
  • An overly aggressive Phase I emission reduction target, now increased from a 10 percent to a 15 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2020, before the anticipated commercial availability of carbon capture and storage technologies;
  • An unequivocal commitment to achieving a 70 perscent national emision reduction below 2005 levels by 2050, regardless of the degree of subsequent participation of major developing nations like China and India in a global climate protection framework;
  • The failure to identify “domestic economic development” as a finding of Congress, a purpose of the legislation, and the failure to require that funding from this legislation be dedicated to domestic investments for new technology and the creation of jobs – from production to construction and exports.
  • The absense of an effective safety valve price for carbon dioxide allowances, which will have an adverse impact upon investment decisions and consumer and inducstry pricing.
  • The need for a restricted and regulated market system that does not fall prey to predatory trading practices, hoarding of allowances, and the creation of carbon billionaires, which an open market and unlimited banking of allowances can lead to.
  • The extent of the use of international allowances combined with offsets, and he possibility of double dipping with offsets by providing allowances for activities that would have been done anyway.
  • Inappropriate allocations of emissions allowances, such as the 10 percent allocation to “wires companies” to encourage energy efficiency – a goal that may be better accomplished through direct legislation on energy efficiency standards, now incorporated in other provisions of the bill.

The efficacy of the domestic energy industry, focusing on its available workforce to meet our nation's growing needs

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 06 Nov 2007 15:00:00 GMT

The purpose of the hearing is to receive testimony on whether domestic energy industry will have the available workforce – crafts and professional – to meet our nation’s growing energy needs and if gaps exist, what policies the Congress should take to address these gaps.

Panel 1
  • Ms. Emily DeRocco, Department of Labor
  • Ms. Patricia Hoffman, Department of Energy
  • Ms. Andra Cornelius, Workforce Florida
Panel 2
  • Mr. Norm Szydlowski, Colonial Pipeline
  • Mr. Paul Bowers, Southern Company
  • Dr. Ray Stults, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Ms. Carol Berrigan, Nuclear Energy Institute
  • Mr. Jim Hunter, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers