Gary, IN - U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson joined workers, business owners, labor leaders and community members Tuesday in Gary, Ind., for the Made in America Jobs Tour. The event highlighted the benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy that will create jobs while reducing harmful carbon pollution and breaking our dependence on foreign oil.
"It is time for America and Indiana to be running on clean energy. You know that we need the millions of green jobs associated with clean energy. We need to reduce our dependence on oil that comes from outside of our shores. We need a cleaner environment for our children," said Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Throughout the economic challenges of this decade, there's been a bright spot, and that is the growth in clean energy jobs."
"The clean energy fight is a fight about jobs, jobs, jobs," said Tom Conway, International Vice President of the United Steelworkers. "This issue is a national defense interest, a jobs interest and a clean planet interest. The way you build an economy is on manufacturing - there's good work in installation and putting up wind turbines here in Indiana."
"It's clear that Indiana's working families understand the benefits that lie in clean energy," said Dave Boundy, a Senior Campaign Advisor for the Alliance for Climate Protection. "Our working families are not only prepared to help transition America to a clean energy economy, but excited to seize the opportunities clean energy and climate solutions provide, and the jobs made in America they create."
The Made in America Jobs Tour, organized by the Alliance for Climate Protection and the Blue Green Alliance, kicked off last week in Cleveland, Ohio, and consists of more than 50 events in 22 states, including St. Louis, Missouri; Detroit, Michigan; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Bill Keith, president of Sunrise Solar, a local clean energy business said, "While the world debates green energy, I've been quietly building a green business - solar attic fans - using American components and labor. I am now selling my products all over the world. We need to once again become leaders in green energy, not followers. Let's get going and lead this thing."
According to the Center for American Progress, investing $3.1 billion in Indiana's clean energy economy could create more than 38,000 jobs in the state. A report by the Blue Green Alliance showed that Indiana could create more than 39,000 manufacturing jobs in wind, solar, geothermal and biomass by instituting a renewable electricity standard.
"We need to move our country in a new direction - toward clean energy that will create jobs here in Gary, Indiana. That's why labor unions, like those here today, are increasingly speaking out in support of action that will unleash investment in alternative energy sources," said Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "There's no time to waste. We need our leaders to know that we want a clean energy future with good-paying, Made in America jobs."