Though Obama’s recent jobs speech wasn’t packed full of references to the green economy, clean energy, or energy efficiency, it did hint at the possibility that there could be continued support for green jobs.
- Energy efficiency: Obama calls on Congress to pass a bill that emphasizes investment in infrastructure, schools, innovation, and development. Given that this includes modernizing 35,000 public schools, this likely hints at things like providing energy efficiency upgrades, asbestos removal, and other green improvements, which is good news. The Center for American Progress has said that energy efficiency is the cheapest, cleanest, most abundant source of energy, as well as a boon for jobs.
- Renewable energy: Obama talked about mobilizing community colleges to provide training for people to work in manufacturing to keep jobs in America rather than exporting them to China or Europe. Manufacturing things like solar panels certainly must be in the mix.
- Transportation: The speech mentioned a $10 billion National Infrastructure Bank that could be used for innovative financing and investment in things like high-speed rail and other energy efficient transportation initiatives.
- Project Rebuild: This could see funds that go toward greening homes, businesses, and communities.
Several nonprofits have come out in support of Obama’s speech.
Executive Director of BlueGreen Alliance, David Foster: “We are especially pleased with the President’s proposal to modernize America’s schools. A green school in every community will be a living symbol of how to put America back to work, improve the health of our children and teachers, and move our economy closer to a clean energy future. School modernization creates jobs for construction workers and demand for the energy efficiency products made in America’s factories.”
Center for American Progress: “Most of the elements of President Obama’s plan are focused on spurring private sector job growth, including through tax cuts for hiring and capital investments. But the fact is that if the private sector could get us out of this crisis alone, it already would have. Coordinated action is needed, and only government can play that role at a time like this. With a substantial commitment to infrastructure investment, school renovations, and aid to distressed states and localities, President Obama’s plan will provide an immediate jobs boost while enhancing America’s competitiveness for the future.”
U.S. Green Building Council: “Energy retrofits especially, and the jobs and innovation embedded in this one activity, are a cornerstone to broader economic recovery in every sector.”
Image Via Flickr: jurvetson