Jeff Goodell, in the excellent book, points out a caveat on this:
According to Goodell, there is a not-so-subtle nuance in the call for
"energy independence": the fact that the US has enough coal to triple
atmospheric CO2 levels.|
As Goodell notes, the best thing we could do for coal miners is simply
buy out their jobs, just as we do with tobacco farmers.
Charles Griffith wrote:
For Immediate Release
June, 29, 2006
Unions and Environmentalists Unite For Energy Independence
Formation of Michigan Apollo Alliance to Create Good Jobs, Freedom from
Policymakers to make Michigan a Leader in Clean Energy Technologies
America’s Independence Day approaching, Michigan labor unions and
environmental groups announced a new coalition aimed at ending
America’s current dependency problem: its dependence on foreign oil.
groups, organized as the Michigan Apollo Alliance, believe a major
initiative to develop renewable energy, homegrown biofuels, and
advanced automotive technologies is needed to end Michigan’s dependence
on imported energy and to take advantage of Michigan’s skilled
workforce and manufacturing leadership, while restoring Michigan’s
joining together because Michigan workers, citizens and consumers need
a voice in creating smart policies which protect jobs and protect the
environment at the same time,” said Mark Gaffney, president of the
Michigan AFL-CIO. “Building new alternative energy technologies
requires the skills Michigan workers have gained as one of the nation’s
leading manufacturing states.”
groups focused on investing in Michigan’s workers and its economy.
“Michigan spends $20 billion a year buying energy from outside the
state and outside the country,” said Andy Buchsbaum, Director of the
Great Lakes Office, National Wildlife Federation . “Our message is
Why not spend
as much of that money as we can here in Michigan, putting Michigan
workers on the job creating clean and efficient energy sources that
protect our environment?”
create jobs and enhance Michigan’s energy options, the Alliance
released a letter to Michigan legislators and the Governor calling for
a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) as part of the state’s 21st Century energy
strategy. The groups commended the Governor’s recent Executive
Directive calling for the Public Service Commission to develop a new
state energy plan, including a new renewable energy standard, as well
as efforts in the Legislature focused on energy policy. The Alliance argued such a standard
should maximize job opportunities for Michigan manufacturing and
installation businesses, and explore incentives for encouraging energy
efficiency and renewable energy projects within the state.
can't afford to let other states get the jump on us when it comes to
emerging technologies like wind turbines or solar power," said Lisa
Wozniak, Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation
Voters. "It's time Michigan declares our energy independence, and
supports policies that will develop whole new technologies that can
improve our environment -- and that also create good-paying jobs in
manufacturing, construction, installation and other related areas."
Michigan effort is part of the national Apollo Alliance, an effort
inspired by President Kennedy’s original Apollo mission which seeks to
end America’s dependence on foreign oil within a decade. Such an effort
could spur the creation of 3 million new jobs. Many of these jobs would
be in the manufacturing and construction sectors, traditionally high
wage industries critical to Michigan’s economy.
parts of the Alliance’s agenda will include development of
locally-grown biofuels and advanced automotive technologies. “Re-tooling our auto industry to produce
cleaner, greener vehicles has to be part of any comprehensive energy
and jobs strategy for Michigan,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.
“The Apollo Alliance is breaking important new ground, by recognizing
that workers are part of the environment, and advocating for
high-skill, high-quality jobs as an essential part of a clean energy
For More Information:
Apollo Alliance, 608-265-9668
Ken Fletcher, Michigan AFL-CIO: 517-487-5966
Charles Griffith, Ecology Center: 734-663-2400
Zoe Lipman, National Wildlife Federation: 734-516-9616
Markell, United Auto Workers: 313-926-5256
more information, and a copy of the letter: http://www.apolloalliance.org/michiganapollo.cfm
About the Apollo Alliance: The Apollo
Alliance aims to end America’s dependence on foreign oil and create
millions of high wage jobs. Inspired by President Kennedy’s original
Apollo mission, it has been endorsed by 23 labor unions, the nation’s
leading environmental groups and a growing number of business leaders.
The Michigan Apollo Alliance is led by the state’s leading labor unions
and environmental groups and is working on policies to create good jobs
and energy independence.
Member organizations in Michigan
include: Clean Water Action-Michigan, Ecology
Center, Environment Michigan, Michigan
Environmental Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, National
Wildlife Federation, PIRGIM, International Association of Machinists,
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers #17, International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers #58, International Union of Operating
Engineers, Michigan AFL-CIO, Michigan State Building Trades Council,
United Auto Workers.
Charles Griffith, Auto Project Director
117 N. Division, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Ph: 734/663-2400, x116 /-2414 fx.