NEW ENERGY AND JOBS – THE KEYS TO THE ECONOMY
In The Green Collar Economy; How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems, Van Jones says New Energy is the remedy for what ails the U.S. economy.
Jones, in his new book: “…I propose a bold, green cure for the economic mess we are in. Think of it as a comprehensive plan to bail out ordinary people — and the planet, too…”
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, who is watching New Energy generate new manufacturing facilities and jobs in small towns across his state even as major Wall Street financial institutions collapse and the U.S. economy fades, agrees.
Ritter: "I think that this is the thing we must do…Renewable energy is the trifecta. It helps us with energy security. It helps us really think about environmental issues and climate issues. And at the end of the day, you build an economy around it. We call it the 'New Energy Economy.'"
Jones says a $350 bilion dollar investment – half the price of the rescue package – would retrofit and repower the country with New Energy and create millions of new jobs in the process. Jones calls this “twice the bang for half the bucks.”
He cites reports from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Political Economy Research Institute/Center for American Progress validating his claims with cold, hard numbers.
Jones: “Our energy system can create awesome storms. Or it can create awesome jobs. Our financial system can become a global sinkhole — or a global springboard.”
Jones argues that a New Energy economy will be less dependent on credit and credit cards because it will be built on actual production and it will be less vulnerable to oil market fluctuations because it will rely on domestic energy.
Jones: “Rather than just giving platinum parachutes to those who wrecked the economy, let’s throw a green lifeline to the ordinary people who want to rebuild it. We can’t drill and burn our way out of our present mess. But we can invent and invest our way out.”
He will get no opposition from Colorado Governor Ritter.
click for the book website
Building Jobs With Renewable Energy; Colorado’s Booming Energy Business
Lisa Fletcher, October 4, 2008 (ABC News)
It’s Time To Build The Green Collar Economy
Van Jones, October 6, 2008 (The Wonk Room)
Vestas American Wind Technology (Roby Roberts, vice president; Bob Erbelding, employee); Bill Ritter, Governor, Colorado; Dan Arvizu, director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); Van Jones, author/senior fellow, Center for American Progress Action Fund
The New Energy industries are booming businesses in Colorado and throughout the west. In The Green Collar Economy; How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems, Van Jones says New Energy can lead an economic revival nationally.
click to enlarge
Since the 1970s: NREL has been stubbornly been doing work to develop New Energies for more than 3 decades while the world stayed addicted to oil. (Arvizu, NREL: "I told our staff it's taken us 30 years to become an overnight success…The people who've been part of these programs for the past three decades have felt as though they've kept the pilot light on while the rest of the world kind of caught up with what the real value is and the real opportunities these technologies actually produce."
- Vestas presently has a major manufacturing plant in Windsor, Colo., and is building 3 more in the state.
- Vestas’ VP Roberts wants Washington, D.C. to enact a national Renewable Energy Standard (RES) like the Eu has done with its “Triple 20” (20% of power from New Energy sources, 20% improvement in efficiency and 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020)
- Jones sees the New Energy economy having a particular important impact in the inner city.
- Governor Ritter sees the New Energy economy having a particular important impact in rural small towns.
- Vestas expects to have $600 million in turbine manufacturing plants and employ 2,500 people at 4 Colorado facilities by 2010.
- Vestas VP Roberts also says the U.S. must build new transmission and create an overall climate policy.
- The U.S. Conference of Mayors report says shifting from fossil fuels to New Energy and Eenrgy Efficiency will create 4 million jobs.
- The Political Economy Research Institute/Center for American Progress reports a $100 billion investment in a New Energy/Energy Efficiency plan will generate 2 million jobs in 2 years and will generate 4 times the jobs as an equal amount spent in the oil industry.
- Jones describes the Old Energy economy as being based on “consumption, debt and environmental destruction” whereas the New Energy economy will be based on “production, smart savings and environmental restoration.”
From the Political Economy Research Institute/Center for American Progress report. (click to enlarge)
- Bob Erbelding, Vestas American: "I used to be a contractor, but the housing business really sloughed off and I was looking for a meaningful job that would supply my family with a good income and great benefits…"
- Bill Ritter, Governor, Colorado: "The baton is being handed off from the traditional 19th and 20th century industries: Renewables…We have made [renewable energy] our signature piece in Colorado from a business perspective…This country has such potential to build-out a renewable energy industry. And we have so much potential to increase the kinds of jobs that can be associated with it…"
- Roby Roberts, vice president, Vestas: "We're breaking all-time records right now…I think people are starting to wake up and say, 'Wow, this is really for real.'"
- Dan Arvizu, director, NREL: "We're at a tipping point in terms of infrastructure and in terms of commitment to really changing the way our future energy economy will grow…I think that's compelling to many people…I think people start talking about 'green jobs.' That is actually a real effect and I think that's what's driving a grass roots effort around renewable energy."