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Obama’s Call for Green Jobs Recovery Applauded

Posted Feb. 17, 2009 / Posted by: NBerning

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Nick Berning: (202) 222-0748

In speech today, Obama pledges to create jobs by doubling alternative energy production, modernizing buildings and developing ‘whole new approach’ to meeting challenges

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder had the following response to a speech today by President-elect Barack Obama about his economic recovery package:

“America is facing profound and deeply intertwined energy and economic crises. President-elect Obama’s speech today indicates he understands the tremendous scope and interrelated nature of these challenges—and that he is committed to leading the bold, transformative changes that will be needed to solve them. With his leadership, we can create millions of green jobs and revitalize our economy, while building a clean and efficient 21st Century infrastructure.

“President-elect Obama today pledged to spur job creation by doubling our production of clean energy, modernizing and improving the efficiency of federal buildings and more than two million homes, increasing the fuel economy of cars, and investing in clean technologies of the future. These measures can create millions of good jobs and revitalize our economy, and we strongly support them.

“We also welcome the President-elect’s call to keep pork and earmarks—which often lead to polluting projects that harm the economy—out of the economic recovery package, and his pledge to end the ability of ‘Wall Street wrongdoers to slip through regulatory cracks.’ Better regulations of Wall Street will be imperative as Congress moves forward with climate legislation. Obama’s call for ‘a whole new approach to meeting our most urgent challenges … ending the culture of anything goes’ signals a refreshing break from the past.

“In this spirit, we are working with the President-elect’s team, as well as members of Congress, to ensure that wasteful spending on new roads will be kept out of the recovery package. Instead, we must invest in improving and expanding clean transportation options including public transit and passenger rail, as well as on maintaining and repairing the roads and bridges that already exist. Dollar for dollar, investments in public transportation and road and bridge repair create more jobs than new road construction and lead to cleaner air and less pollution.

“We will be watching the attempts of polluter lobbyists to sneak economically harmful, pollution-heavy projects into this package. In particular, we will work with Congress and the Obama team to keep the recovery clean and keep out funding for unsustainable biofuels, coal and nuclear power.

“If Congress follows the principles outlined by President-elect Obama today, our country can enjoy an economic recovery that puts millions of Americans to work and lays the groundwork for a clean energy future.”

Friends of the Earth is running a “New Roads=New Pollution” campaign to encourage smart transportation investments in the stimulus package and to block funding for new roads. More information can be found at http://www.RoadToNowhere.org.

The organization also plans to publish a “Green Scissors” report in the coming months, showing that the federal budget deficit can be substantially reduced by cutting wasteful, environmentally harmful spending.

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Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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