Failure is not an option
By Santiago Cueto, Board member, Voces Verdes
While our senators are at home relaxing during their August recess, millions of Hardworking men and women are forced to worry each day about feeding their families and keeping their jobs. With nearly 1 in 10 Americans still unemployed it’s tough to understand why senators let an opportunity to create clean energy jobs and save families money slip through their hands.
Unfortunately, our Senators acted with only their interests in mind. With election looming in the coming months, acting for the people has taken a back seat to getting re-elected and getting support from special interests. So as election season nears, our senators need to hear from us, the voters, that failure to create clean energy jobs is not an option.
We need our senators to get back to work on a solution and jumpstart a clean energy economy that would create nearly 2 million jobs across the country.
I’m talking about real jobs right here at home. Jobs for steelworkers to produce the parts used in wind turbines; for construction workers to weatherize homes and lower energy costs; for sheet metal workers to retrofit buildings with new energy efficiency measures. Jobs for smart, innovative people all over our country to build the smart grid that will transmit cleaner, renewable electricity from our wind farms to bustling urban centers.
Instead of importing clean energy technologies from overseas or sending these jobs overseas, we should be developing and building these technologies right here at home. We cannot afford to let China pull further ahead in the global clean energy race making us again dependent on foreign countries for our energy.
Comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation is not a tax as polluters would have you believe. They need to protect their polluting interests. Clean energy is a way to put America back on the path to economic success — revitalizing current industries and creating new ones, establishing the United States as the undisputed leader in clean energy technologies, and creating good American jobs now.
We need them to support and pass a cap on carbon emissions that will spur investment in clean energy technologies, a federal Renewable Electricity Standard to ensure our transition towards renewable energy which will drive demand for clean energy products produced here in the United States; to support Home Star and Building Star — two programs that will create jobs for our construction workers by in the weatherization of homes and retrofits of commercial buildings; to stimulate critical investments in manufacturing to help small and medium-sized manufacturers retool for the clean energy economy. These are not partisan issues these are human issues. This is legislation that will keep America strong and our economy moving.
So as August comes to and end, it’s time to keep our leaders honest and tell them to stop dragging their feet. We need to move ahead, now. Once their summer vacation is over, we expect our U.S. Senators to get back to work, and to help us do the same.