Yesterday morning, President-elect Barack Obama spoke about the urgent need to implement an "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" that will "save of create" 3 million jobs, including green jobs in alternative energy production and weatherizing buildings for energy efficiency.
Read the full text of the speech.
On alternative energy and buildings, Obama said:
"To finally spark the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years. We will modernize more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills. In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced – jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain."
In his pointed speech, Obama called our economic crisis a "crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime", and warned that without dramatic action, "this recession could linger for years."
This morning, new data reinforced the bleakness of the current economy - over half a million jobs were lost in December, and the unemployment rate hit a 16-year high, at 7.2%.
Of the report, Obama said:
"This morning, we received a stark reminder of how urgently action is needed.... today’s jobs report only underscores the need for us to move forward with a sense of urgency and common purpose."