Solar Industry Booming, Regardless of Solyndra Bankruptcy

By: Thursday September 15, 2011 12:30 pm

This stupid Solyndra circus is starting to remind me of the late 1990s, when any whiff of scandal was like catnip to the media. This is 1/80th of the total price of loans made from the Energy Department’s program, none of the other companies involved have failed, and yet this is supposed to be an object lesson in how green jobs cannot compete. Never mind the $40 billion in subsidies given to oil and gas companies or the hundreds of millions in loan guarantees propping up the nuclear industry. This notion of a free market in energy is ridiculous.

In point of fact, the domestic solar industry, a net exporter last year, happens to be booming.

 

Late Night: Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

By: Friday July 1, 2011 8:00 pm

Of all the many, many disappointments the Obama administration has brought us, this personally ranks pretty high. As a candidate, Barack Obama really seemed to grasp the potential of a “green recovery” to make economic and environmental progress at the same time — more so than the mere expedience of being a political candidate seemed to require. But despite ongoing noises in that general direction, there has been the all-too-familiar lack of results.

Clean Energy, Mass Transit Far More Popular than Nuke Plants and Oil Drilling

By: Tuesday March 9, 2010 4:45 pm

Last week, Pew released a survey with the headline ‘Support for Alternative Energy and Offshore Drilling.’ The piece begins, “The public continues to favor a wide range of government policies to address the nation’s energy supply…”

That is accurate, but it doesn’t get at the most striking data. The most important finding in the survey is the fact that clean energy and mass transit investments are vastly more popular than nuclear investments and offshore drilling.

Got a Question on the Jobs Crisis? Ask Richard Trumka

By: Thursday December 10, 2009 1:30 pm

The AFL-CIO has proposed a five-point plan to immediately address the nation’s jobs crisis, and Trumka took our message to the White House last week at President Obama’s Jobs Summit.

But we need to keep the heat on. It’s up to the grassroots to outshout Wall Street.

We need an economic game plan that creates jobs which support families. Because, as one person noted in the questions, “We can’t just flip burgers for one another.”

Mass Transit-Oriented Smart Growth Melds Environmental, Labor Interests

By: Tuesday November 17, 2009 9:40 am

Recently there has been a lot of focus on a possible “blue/green alliance” among the political left in this country. The idea is that union workers would build the new equipment for the green economy. Things like solar panels and wind turbines. Clearly the idea appeals to those who long for the glory days of organized labor, when this country was still a manufacturing powerhouse.

Unfortunately, as long as this country maintains its strong anti-manufacturing policies, I don’t see the blue/green alliance manifesting itself in that way. I suspect the nation’s demand for solar panels will be met by imports from Germany, and our wind turbines will be made in China. There is no reason to believe this green manufacturing jobs will not suffer the same fate as previous manufacturing jobs.

Can’t Ship Out Those Green Jobs

By: Thursday April 23, 2009 1:30 pm

We’re giving up Styrofoam cups here at our building in Washington, D.C. Also doing an energy audit and taking a few other steps as a start toward making our building a green one—just some of the actions the AFL-CIO announced this week, in time for Earth Day.

Back in 1999, there was surprise over the “Teamsters and Turtles” alliance during protests against the World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle.

Labor: Wow, What a Week!

By: Thursday March 5, 2009 1:30 pm

There’s too much going on this week to focus on one topic. So here’s a rundown from the world of working people and their unions.

-Hilda Solis made her first public appearance as labor secretary during the AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting in Miami, where she toured an Electrical Workers (IBEW) union training facility and held a meeting in the inner city with 700 community members.

Green, the Color of Good Jobs

By: Thursday February 21, 2008 10:30 am

The union movement is turning green. Not with envy, but with an escalating sense that the nation must work to address climate change and that we must be part of the effort to create good jobs that also are green jobs.

Last December, an unprecedented delegation of unionists traveled to Bali, Indonesia, for the U.N. climate change conference. Of the 90 union delegates, more than 20 were from North America.

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