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Environment and Labor Usher in Next Generation of Congressional Green Leaders
Stand Together to Call for a Green Economic Recovery

WASHINGTON (January 8, 2009) -- As America welcomes a new Congress this week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), joined by the Blue Green Alliance Action Fund, ushered in the next generation of green leaders: freshmen representatives from around the nation who are committed to repowering America with clean energy and green jobs.
 
As the 111th Congress takes up the economic recovery package, NRDC is calling for the inclusion of policies that will move the nation towards a strong, clean energy economy. Among NRDC’s top recommendations are greater investment in renewable energy sources, increased energy efficiency, improvements in public transit, and restoration of America’s transportation and water infrastructure. Together, these improvements will create millions of new green jobs and help jump-start the economy.
 
“America is facing unprecedented economic challenges, but we have a new generation of green leaders in Congress that can meet these challenges and move us to a more sustainable economic future,” said Frances Beinecke, president of NRDC. “The new Congress will need to act quickly to get the economy moving, and we look forward to working with them to create a clean energy workforce, reduce our dependence on oil, and protect the environment.”
 
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a recognized environmental leader, introduced four new members of Congress who are committed to forging a green economic recovery: Representatives Debbie Halvorson (IL), Steve Driehaus (OH), Tom Perriello (VA), and Mark Schauer (MI).
 
“With this new generation of leaders in Congress, building the green economy begins now,” said David Foster, executive director of the Blue Green Alliance Action Fund, a partnership between labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the green economy. “Making ‘green’ part of our economic recovery now will chart the course for strengthening this new green economy in the future -- putting people back to work, making America energy independent, and taking immediate action against global warming.”
 
“I’m excited to work with Congress’s new green leaders, who recognize that we can stimulate the economy by investing in clean energy and the environment,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “They understand that jobs installing wind turbines and repairing our nation’s bridges can’t be shipped overseas.  They know that green infrastructure investments will not only stimulate the economy in the short-term, but will be a down-payment in the fight against global warming and for energy independence.”
 
“Throughout my campaign, I stressed the importance of investing in a clean energy economy, fixing our nation’s infrastructure, and creating good paying jobs,” said Congresswoman Halvorson. “As a member of the 111th Congress, I am ready to repower America and do all I can to stabilize our economy, empower our workforce, and secure our nation’s energy future.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


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