Green Jobs via The White House: Reactions to Obama’s Jobs Bill


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

This post was written by:

Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Maryruth has been seeking the keys to environmental justice - both at home and at work - for over a decade. Growing up adjacent to wild spaces, Maryruth developed a healthy respect (and whimsical appreciation) for things non-human, but her practical mind constantly draws her down to earth to ponder tangible solutions to complex eco-problems.

With interests that range from green living to green business, sustainable building designs to organic gardening practices, ecosystem restoration to environmental health, Maryruth has been exploring and writing about earth-matters for most of her life. Of special interest is the subject of ecopsychology and the role the natural world plays in the long-term health and well-being of humanity. You can learn more about Maryruth's work at www.JadeCreative.ca.


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Comments

  1. Michael Deleon says:

    I really hope that Obama will start to support Green jobs and make companies sell green products. I mean, green products are what a lot of people want and its healthier than most products that most companies are currently making.

  2. Stephen Ross says:

    As a student in college that is working towards a degree in Environmental Sciences and Law, it’s comforting to know that the government is promoting the growth of green industry. The government has the resources to make a large contribution to the environmental field and research, and hopefully Obama utilizes this capital to move the U.S. towards a more energy efficient and sustainable country.

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