Green Jobs Campaign Aims to Create 820,000 New Jobs

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, April 8, 2008 (ENS) – An alliance of labor and conservation groups today launched the national Green Jobs for America campaign.

The United Steelworkers, the Sierra Club [], the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Blue Green Alliance [], which is a partnership of the Steelworkers and Sierra Club, will campaign from now through September 15 to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

The campaign aims to create over 820,000 new green jobs nationwide in the field of clean, renewable energy in an effort to make the United States more energy independent and reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“The time for a national push for renewable energy is now,” said USW International [] President Leo Gerard. “What is really exciting about this campaign is the opportunity to create jobs, help fix our broken economy and contribute to solving the biggest environmental challenge of our generation at the same time.”

The Green Jobs for America campaign believes that investing in renewables is the best way to fight global warming, bring skyrocketing energy costs back under control, and create new, good-paying jobs.

The campaign will take place in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Oregon from now through

An independent study conducted last year for the Blue Green Alliance by the Renewable Energy Policy Project found that these 12 states in particular stand to gain nearly 170,000 new manufacturing jobs in wind turbine manufacturing and almost 93,000 new manufacturing jobs making the parts for solar power equipment.

Blue Green Alliance Executive Director David Foster said that green jobs are not only those that produce a green product designed for a specific environmental purpose.

Workers install a wind turbine in
Colorado. (Photo by Warren
Gretz, courtesy NREL)

They include existing jobs that involve a green process or a green purpose. He said that steelworkers building components for wind turbines are performing green jobs, as are chemical workers making products that are not harmful to humans or the environment.

“The green revolution isn’t just creating new and different jobs,” Foster said. “It’s revitalizing and creating new investment in a lot of the jobs we already have.”

The campaign builds on the momentum of the Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference held in Pittsburgh last month, which brought together over 1,000 participants, over 80 organizations, elected officials, and leaders from industry, community groups, environmental organizations, and labor unions.

The Green Jobs for America Campaign expects to add additional allies to this new national movement focused on making the clean energy future a reality.

“We saw a glimpse of the clean energy future last month in Pittsburgh,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. “The Green Jobs for America campaign will bring the power of that future to communities across the country.”

Teams of organizers from the four organizations will undertake grassroots organizing activities, conduct a series of public events, release independent studies highlighting the potential for tens of thousands of new green jobs in each state and generate thousands of signatures on a petition calling for green jobs, clean energy solutions and fair trade agreements.

“We aim to show people that we can start building that clean energy future today – a future that promises a strong economy, good jobs, fair trade agreements, a clean environment, and a stable climate for our children and grandchildren.”

The campaign holds that energy efficiency is a largely untapped resource that can save consumers and businesses money on their energy bills and cut our global warming emissions, all while creating tens of thousands of new jobs.

“Technologies like wind and solar are just part of the story. This is also about job security. Making homes, offices and factories more energy efficient not only saves money, it also represents a huge growth opportunity for the people who build our communities and keep them running,” said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“We’re talking about architects and engineers. Drywall and lighting contractors. Electricians and carpenters. Everything from construction to computing. And these are jobs that cannot be shipped offshore, and pay lasting dividends to the American economy,” Beinecke said.

Founded in 2006, the Blue Green Alliance is a strategic partnership of the United Steelworkers, North America’s largest manufacturing union, and the 1.3 million members and supporters of the Sierra Club.

The Natural Resources Defense Council [] is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

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