Tag Archives: Economic Recovery

Sarah Palin’s Right: You Should Run on Energy

Over the past week, Sarah Palin encouraged Tea-Party candidates to make energy issues a central part of their campaigns. “There’s nothing stopping us from achieving energy independence that a good old national election can’t fix,” she said.  

Palin’s full of surprises, but this piece of campaign advice caught me off-guard. After all, a recent poll found that energy is the issue that inspires the most faith in Democratic lawmakers. Since President Obama made clean energy a central part of their campaign in 2008, this poll suggests that this is what the majority of people want.  Therefore, Democrats AND Republicans should all be running on clean energy.

Tea-partiers are always more than welcome to pontificate &peddle” more of the same”, blathering about dirty, old energy technologies that date back to the 19th century.

When in fact it will be bold Republicans and smart Democrats that support clean, innovative, job generating “energy ideas” that will truly get a lift by campaigning on energy.

Eight years of “Drill, baby, Drill,” during the Bush administration got us exactly where we are now – in trouble and dependent on foreign oil. But that isn’t what the American voters want now. American voters want progress and they want jobs.  The clean energy plan at the center of the economic package, which just approved a $100 million investment in smart grid technology, will lead to 30,000 Americans getting new job training.

These are the energy policies that Americans will have the most faith in. And that’s why I encourage the undecided Senators out there–those lawmakers and candidates from both parties who have been quiet about clean energy and climate legislation–to step forward and declare their support for a clean energy future for America and show some leadership.

Rather than being scared about what the Tea Party will say in response, lawmakers should be listening to American voters. People want to see progress right now, not more Congressional gridlock.

Comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation is primed for passing. It has already passed in the House. A new Senate bill is expected to become public in the coming days and will have tri-partisan support in the Senate thanks to Senators Kerry (D), Graham (R), and Lieberman (I). After the bill is unveiled, negotiating will begin in earnest.  Forward movement is further propelled by the White House backing, thanks to President Obama’s repeated requests for a bill to be delivered to his desk. And it has already gone through numerous hearings and been thoroughly debated on the Hill.

Senators should pass a clean energy and climate bill this summer and head into the final campaign push with a real success in hand–an action plan to deliver on the three of the most pressing issues for American voters right now:

• Jobs: The clean energy and climate bill that passed the House last just is projected to create nearly 2 million jobs. In fact, for every $1 million invested in clean energy, we can create 3 to 4 times as many jobs as if we spent the same amount on fossil fuels.

• The Economy: There is a consensus among economists that America can prevent the worst impacts of climate change without hurting the economy. As Paul Krugman explained recently, the House bill would leave the American economy between 1.1 percent and 3.4 percent smaller in 2050 than it would be otherwise.

• National Security: This week, the U.S. Military warned that oil would be in dangerously short supply in the next few years, exacerbating political tensions and around the world. In contrast, Think Progress found that clean energy and climate legislation would reduce Iran’s petrodollar receipts by $1.8 trillion through 2050. That’s an average of $100 million per day that doesn’t fall into the hands of a regime that sponsors extremist groups around the world!

These are the kind of real numbers that Americans are looking for. That’s why those up for reelection this fall should run on a positive, forward-looking energy policy instead of the 19th century leftover rhetoric that Palin is dishing out.

Heather Taylor-Miesle is the director of the NRDC Action Fund. Become a fan on Facebook or Twitter.

New Study: AB32 Will Create 2 Million Jobs

A new report by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was released last week that provides an updated analysis of the impact that AB32 will have on the economic growth of California. This report comes about a year and a half after the last one released by the CARB staff that received some criticism from outside economists due to the report making some questionable assumptions. In response to this, ARB appointed a board of 16 experts called the Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee (EAAC) to help CARB staff during the analysis, as well as contribute its own peer review of the analysis.

The result confirms that AB32 will have a positive impact on growth, although that impact was slightly less than in the original report. It is estimated that despite the economic downturn, two million jobs will be created by 2020, the economy will grow at 2.4% per year, and that $3.8 billion will be saved in reduced consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel.

The first part of this report outlines the economic benefits to California that AB32 would bring, and answers one of skeptics' prime questions: will AB32 take jobs away from Californians? The answer, quite simply is No.

In fact, the report states that this shift toward a clean economy will create a sustained growth of about .9 percent each year. The key, according to the report is “shift the driver of economic growth from cheap but polluting energy sources to clean energy and efficient technologies.” In addition, this new report explains that although some industries like fossil fuel burning utilities and mining will take a hit under the new climate laws, overall, businesses can be expected to flourish.

It is anticipated that “small businesses may expect to see an increase in employment and output as consumers invest in more efficient appliances and improve energy efficiency of their homes.” The reality is that not only will most industries, including small businesses prosper under this law, but that without AB32 will incur higher costs.

The second part of this report released by ARB analyzes the future possibilities if California fails to go through with AB32. Diverging from this plan would actually increase costs and individual Californians as well as small businesses would carry the majority of this burden. The report makes a point to weigh both the environmental as well as the economic repercussions of diverging from AB32. It states that “By transitioning to clean energy, we will shift our economy towards the future, and avoid the serious mistake states like Michigan made in using government to try to prop up outdated jobs in dirty industries.”

Unlike other reports from different sources and with contrary findings, this one makes a point to include the opinions of impartial experts. These facts make it clear that not only will AB32 help our economy, but is necessary to get back on track.

CA 10: National Service to College, Sign the Petition

The road to lasting security and economic prosperity runs through America’s universities, state colleges, community colleges and technical training schools.

Yet for an increasing number of Americans, the dream of the quality education they need to compete in the global economy of the 21st Century is out of reach.

That’s why I am asking you to help me remove barriers to college right now by signing the Service to College petition.

For decades, politicians have used cuts to public schools and financial aid programs, as well as tuition hikes at universities as a means for closing state budget gaps.

We now know that these short-sighted decisions have come at an immense long-term cost to America’s economy, the competitiveness of our workforce and our security.  

But together, we can reverse these wrong-headed policies- starting with stable and adequate funding at the K-12 level, rolling back recent tuition increases, and by rewarding national service with a year of college tuition for every year served in the military, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or other recognized full-time service programs.

Growing up in Fairfield, California as the son of a single mother, my family couldn’t afford health care, much less think about college tuition.

But I was lucky. I was accepted to West Point, where I received an excellent four-year college education our family would never have been able to afford alone. I went on to serve my country, including two tours of duty in Iraq.

This kind of college for service should be available to more Americans. It is a win/win bargain that will make our country stronger right now as we harness the public service spirit of a new generation and it will make our country richer in the long-run as we train more Americans for the high-skill and high-wage jobs that will keep us economically competitive.

I have been honored to serve not just in Iraq – but to work as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity rebuilding homes in New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. I’ve seen first hand the tremendous energy and effectiveness of Americans serving other Americans. It does more than transform once-devastated communities; it helps transform the people performing the service. This kind of community engagement helps build a model of citizenship and life-long service that is America at its best.

History has always been my passion. At West Point, and later at the Kennedy School of Government, we frequently talked about the sacrifices of the “Greatest Generation” that protected our nation in WWII.

It is a deserved title for these Americans, because they did more than serve our country in the military. They came home and used the GI Bill to help unlock nearly 25 years of economic growth and prosperity. They opened the door to opportunity for tens of millions of Americans. And they served, and continue to serve, their communities at home.

As a member of what’s being called the Millennial Generation, the largest generation in our nation’s history, I want plans like Service to College to unlock a new and great wave of service. I hope you will help me make this Service to College plan a reality.

If you agree that we need to break down the barriers to college by promoting national service, please sign our petition today.

And I hope you will learn more about me and my campaign for Congress in the California’s 10th Congressional district by visiting my website, or joining more than 3,000 supporters at Facebook or


Thanks for all you do,

Anthony Woods

Democrat for Congress, CA 10

CLICK HERE to Contribute to our Campaign