FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alyssa Ritterstein
Climate Efforts Offer a Powerful Tool to Create Jobs, Economic Stability for Vulnerable Americans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In his State of the Union address this evening, President Obama laid out an inspiring vision and shared his clear commitment to creating “opportunity for all” with initiatives that will expand the middle class and help put more Americans back to work. The President’s proposals to increase the federal minimum wage and expand opportunities in clean energy are great steps in helping close the nation’s growing economic divide. Most importantly, the president recognized that “the best measure of opportunity is access to a good job.”
Statement of Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
It’s deeply encouraging to hear the President strengthen his commitment to expanding our middle class, creating good jobs for more Americans, and combating climate change. For communities of color who are experiencing unemployment rates at nearly twice the national average, and for low-income communities, the president’s year of action can’t begin too soon.
One of the best ways President Obama can open doors of opportunity for those who most need it is by connecting his economic vision to his climate agenda. The president’s proposed expansion of truly clean sources of energy like solar and wind power, energy efficiency, and clean vehicles not only fight climate change—they can create good, high-wage employment. Jobs in the green economy, like manufacturing and installing solar panels, tend to pay more while requiring less formal education. That’s a recipe for helping Americans on the edge escape poverty.
Economic vulnerability puts people at increased risk from the disasters, the extreme weather, and the spikes in food and energy prices that climate change will bring. The same folks who need jobs also need greater protection from pollution and disasters.
The president’s plans are on the right track in curing what ails hardworking low-income Americans and workers of color, who have historically been left behind. Connecting climate action with economic opportunity is a winning strategy to moving more Americans out of harm’s way and to move America forward in 2014.