Good, Green Jobs
The Sierra Club supports a wide range of campaigns that facilitate the creation of good, green jobs: jobs that reduce our dependence on foreign oil and that support American families. A study released by the Blue-Green Alliance reports that requiring 20% of our country's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 would create 820,000 jobs across the country.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act | Weatherization and Economic Recovery | Sustainable Transportation | Pulp and Paper | Speed Matters | Green Jobs for America Campaign | Green Jobs Act | Clean Energy Corp | Fair Trade
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is legislation that was signed into law on February 17, 2009 by President Obama. The Act is intended to stimulate the American economy in the wake of the economic downturn. The stimulus package includes $787 billion dollars meant to improve infrastructure, energy, health care, education and other sectors. The Recovery Act stipulates a large portion of the $787 billion to be spent on building a green clean energy economy.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is important because it makes a down payment on solutions that will rebuild, refuel and repower America's economy and lead to a clean energy future that will benefit generations to come.
Follow Stimulus Spending at www.recovery.gov.
Weatherization and Economic Recovery
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act commits $5 billion towards expanding the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) to meet the Obama Administration’s goal of weatherizing one million homes a year. Upgrading home heating and cooling systems, appliances and insulation will improve community health and safety, reduce energy costs, and slash global warming pollution.
The demand for residential energy efficiency improvements will require an industry that can train and connect workers to hundreds of thousands of new jobs. The Sierra Club is working with the Blue Green Alliance to ensure that workers are equipped with green job skills and connecting to green jobs that sustain families, communities and economic growth. Read more.
Los Angeles' Ports Campaign
The Port of Los Angeles Clean Trucks Program is a prime example of an initiative that succeeded as a direct result of collaboration between labor unions and environmentalists. Communities that border Los Angeles' ports suffer from smog, air pollution and health problems caused by old, high-polluting trucks used to haul cargo from the ports. Nearly 16,000 independent drivers employed by trucking agencies are responsible for the upkeep of their own trucks.(2) Most drivers can barely pay for their licensing fees, and therefore, are unable to upgrade to cleaner, more energy-efficient trucks. In 2008, labor unions and environmental organizations created the Port of Los Angeles Clean Trucks Program, which requires trucking companies to treat drivers as employees, and assume responsibility for upgrading and maintaining low-emission trucks. The program also assists trucking companies to speed the transition from older, high-polluting trucks to newer, cleaner trucks through financial incentives and subsidies to encourage the use of cleaner alternative fuels. Read more.
Pulp and Paper
A study by the United Nations Environment Program found that up to 88% of Indonesia's logging is done illegally. Illegal logging has devastating environmental and social impacts - deforestation not only threatens the continued existence of species such as the endangered orangutan, but also accelerates global warming, increases the risk of deadly landslides, depresses timber prices worldwide, and deprives the Indonesian government of much-needed tax revenue.
The Sierra Club and United Steelworkers are supporting a case that has been put before the Department of Commerce to impose tariffs on paper imported from China and Indonesia to level the playing field in pulp and paper production. In order to avoid logging regulations in the United States, companies have shifted to logging in countries like China and Indonesia where loose regulations coupled with lax enforcement have made illegal logging the norm. As proven in the United States, logging and paper manufacturing can be done in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way.Read more.
Illegal Logging Harms Communities
Devastating the Environment
Speed Matters: Broadband Access Campaign
High-speed broadband Internet is the solution to a wide range of environmental issues facing Americans today. Broadband internet access reduces our carbon footprint, requires the implementation of smart grid technologies and would create jobs to construct and maintain broadband technology systems. A $50 billion investment in smart grid technology would create 239,000 new U.S. jobs, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
CWA Speed Matters Fact Sheet
Green Jobs for America Campaign
The Green Jobs for America Campaign works to advance public policy that creates good jobs and a clean energy economy. The campaign is committed to energy independence by increasing investments in clean, renewable energy that can provide jobs for future generations. More information coming soon on the Green Jobs for America Campaign.
Green Jobs Act
The Green Jobs Act was introduced to Congress in 2007 by Representative Hilda Solis (D - CA) and Representative John Tierney (D - MA). The Act will authorize up to $125 million in funding to establish national and state job training programs to address job shortages that are impairing growth in green industries. The Green Jobs Act would develop training programs and prepare workers for a variety of jobs in green building and retrofitting, in the production of renewable energy, in the manufacture of energy-efficient vehicles and much more.
In 2007, the Green Jobs Act became a part of the Energy Independence and Security Act and was signed into law. Congress has yet to appropriate money to fund the Green Jobs Act. To learn more about the Green Jobs Act of 2007, read this fact sheet prepared by the Apollo Alliance and Green For All:
Green Jobs Act Fact Sheet
Clean Energy Corp
The Clean Energy Corp is a combined service, training, and job creation effort to combat global warming, grow local and regional economies and demonstrate the equity and employment promise of the clean energy economy. The Corp will create numerous green-collar jobs in a variety of occupations. Most will be middle skill level jobs that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year degree.
The Clean Energy Corp, as authorized in the Serve America Act, includes funding to restore and revitalize parks and public lands. These activities will not only protect and enhance our national wildlife resources and treasures, they will also provide job training and prepare youth from underserved communities for careers with land management agencies.
Factsheet: Clean Energy Corp: Jobs, Service, and Equal Opportunity in America's Clean Energy Economy
Learn more about the Clean Energy Corp: www.greenforall.org
"Free" trade deals have resulted in more than 1.5 million US jobs outsourced to countries with poor environmental and labor laws. Companies have moved their operations abroad to pay their workers less and to free themselves from US environmental and worker protection regulations. Now, as we work towards building a clean energy economy, it is crucial that we protect American jobs and workers by ensuring that companies are not simply incentivized to relocate to foreign countries to exploit weaker environmental and labor regulations.
In order to avoid the continuous off-shoring of American jobs, US climate policy must incorporate an 'adjustment' in the price of imported goods to take into account the real cost of production. These price adjustments would ensure that imported goods reflect their true environmental and social costs through their price. A fair trade program would decrease the incentives for companies to move abroad and would instead motivate industries to innovate and find ways to reduce their emissions.
Factsheet: The Real Dirt: How Trade Agreements Impact the Environment
Learn more about Trade: www.sierraclub.org/trade
2. Alliance for a New Economy, "About the Clean and Safe Ports Campaign: Good Jobs and Dignity for Truck Drivers, Clean Air for the Community". March 21, 2008.