For those who know the history, the relationship between the environmental movement and the labor movement has been cool, at best, for a long time.
But the two groups have been talking to each other much more in recent years and have come to a better of understanding of how to work together. The environmental movement has been talking jobs, jobs, jobs so much that Obama has even appointed a green jobs czar clean energy jobs handyman, Van Jones.
The labor movement increasingly understands that ending our addiction to oil, preserving a livable climate, and promoting clean energy means millions of good jobs at good wages — from manufacturing wind turbines to installing solar panels to putting in insulation [see "When the global Ponzi scheme collapses (circa 2030), the only jobs left will be green"].
Even with all this coming together, the statement today from AFL-CIO President John Sweeney is a big deal, so I reprint it in its entirety:
America’s workers commend Chairman Henry Waxman and the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their leadership on the crucial issues of addressing climate change, investing in green technologies and creating jobs. Passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act out of committee was an important step forward, and as currently marked up, it makes significant, job-creating investments, while attempting to minimize impacts on existing workers.
The AFL-CIO supports cap-and-trade legislation that takes a balanced approach towards an economy wide-program and prevents foreign competitors from getting advantages over American companies. The American Clean Energy and Security Act also ensures that the nation maintains a diverse energy portfolio that includes renewable energy, fossil fuels, nuclear and hydro-electric.
The legislation also attempts to protect individual industries and geographical regions from being disproportionally or adversely affected. We are encouraged by the work of the Committee and hope that Congress will continue to move this legislation.
Congress should continue to improve the legislation. We recommend that the Energy Information Administration (EIA) do a full economic analysis before the bill is voted on and make the results available to Members and the public.
Addressing the issues of climate change and energy policy is of immense importance. We must do it properly to prevent harmful effects on America’s workers.
Well, EPA will do a more sensible analysis, but still, a very strong statement.