Rockin' Pittsburgh in Support of Clean Energy Jobs

The Clean Energy Jobs Tour rolled into Pittsburgh last week, with rock and country bands, labor, environmental and political leaders, as well as a special video message from former Vice President Al Gore. It was a great way to wrap-up the Repower America and Blue Green Alliance 22 state, 50-event tour for new clean energy jobs. And it was a great way to jump into the G20 Summit meeting, which my colleague Jake Schmidt has blogged about.

The event was organized by the Alliance For Climate Protection's Repower Campaign, the United Steelworkers Union, and the Blue-Green Alliance, which includes NRDC. With clean energy and climate legislation being introduced in the Senate - this is a critical moment for our policymakers in Congress to hear the broad support that behind America's shift to a clean energy future.

Check out this short video we made:

Students, local business people, and union workers of all kinds came to the rally to joined forces to hear about the economic advantages of new clean energy jobs. There even was a "Survivaball," a protective plastic globe meant to protect people from the impacts of global warming.

"We can create millions of jobs building the clean energy economy, whether it's manufacturing the parts for windmills, building hybrid car batteries or weatherizing homes to make them more efficient," said David Foster, executive director of the blue-Green Alliance. "By transitioning to a clean economy, we can revitalize America's manufacturing sector and boost our economy for the long run-by creating jobs at home."

That message seemed to resonate among the crowd, many of whom are being hurt by the ongoing recession. 

"A lot of steelworkers and millworkers are out of work," said Jessica Schrum, a local rally attendee. "I believe clean energy and renewable energy will provide clean jobs for them in the future economy."

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told an enthusiastic crowd that clean energy jobs was an important part of his state's plans for the future, stating that Pennsylvania has invested $1 billion to create 9,000 jobs over the past six years. "Not only is this work the right thing to do to strengthen our economy, it's creating a more secure environment for our children, our nation and the planet."

As the sun set behind the bluffs overlooking the Ohio River, the crowd took to their feet when veteran rocker Joan Jett took the stage and dedicated her music to the push for clean energy and jobs. "I love rock and roll," she shouted, banging her guitar and strutting across the stage in her trademark black bodice.

The crowd definitely got her message.