"GOP Congressmen Smear Green Collar Workers, Claim Their Jobs Are ‘Paper Mché,’ ‘Subprime,’ ‘Gangrene’"
Yesterday, House Republicans took to the floor for an hour-long series of speeches dedicated to attacking Waxman-Markey clean energy economy legislation. But in addition to doing the usual — misrepresenting an MIT study to claim the legislation would result in a tax and flaunting their skepticism of global climate change — the members of Congress decided to fire a volley of smears at workers doing green jobs as well. ThinkProgress has compiled a video of some of the attacks:
REP. JOHN FLEMING (R-LA): What we really get is a pass-through of taxpayer dollars that go into what I would call artificial – or I call them paper mché jobs, so-called green jobs.
REP. TODD AKIN (R-MO): The green jobs that are being talked about, we’re going to create all these green jobs. In Spain, they call them subprime jobs.
REP. G.T. THOMPSON (R-PA): This is all in the name of green, greening America, specifically solar and hydro. But I have to – in terms of the economy, the other green that comes to mind is gangrene.
Similarly, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) has mocked the very existence of green jobs, calling the clean energy industry “as real as the Jolly Green Giant.”
Despite the attacks from right-wing congressmen, green jobs legislation can simultaneously help solve the climate change crisis while spurring an economic boom that will generate millions of both high tech and manufacturing jobs. Akin and others point to a debunked ExxonMobil-funded study on the effect of cap and trade on the Spanish economy to call green jobs “subprime.” But a report by the Center for American Progress shows investment in green jobs produces four times as many jobs as an equivalent investment in the oil industry.
The Environmental Defense Fund website notes there are at least four clean energy companies in Thompson’s district and six in Akin’s district. Maybe these right-wing congressmen should consider they are not only preventing millions of future green jobs by opposing Waxman-Markey, but by sliming green jobs they are mocking their own constituents.