Archive for the 'Jobs' Category

President Obama Abandons Clean Air: Picks Polluters Over Sick and Dying American Kids.

Sierra Club Coal Ad - MiaIn a sickening (literally) move, President Obama has told the Environmental Protection Agency to abandon their plans to protect kids from toxic air pollution, siding with big polluters like Exxon, Koch Industries, and their sock-puppet the US Chamber of Commerce over the health and safety of America’s youth.

The EPA did their job, following scientific advice, hearing from impacted communities, environmental justice, and health organizations. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson worked to set new standards for communities, which would have helped protect kids and keep people working instead of out of work sick or in the ER taking care of their kids and likely spurred investments in scrubbers and pollution control equipment manufactured here in the United States.

Instead, the President sided with the US Chamber of Commerce, echoing the very language they used in their letter scrambling to find justifications for why these polluting corporations wanted to put off essential protections for the lives and health of kids and seniors exposed to toxic air pollutants. The Chamber of Commerce, reveling in the power they are exercising in a post-Citizens United world of unlimited corporate cash in US elections, said:

U.S. Chamber Praises White House Decision to Withdraw Potentially Disastrous Ozone Standards
Donohue Calls Move a ‘Big First Step in What Needs to be a Broader Regulatory Reform Effort’. Source

This is after over a thousand people have been arrested in front of the White House, desperately trying to get President Obama to halt the Keystone XL pipeline that the nation’s top climate scientist said would be ‘game over’ for the climate, if built. A White House conspicuously without solar panels, that the Administration had promised to install by this spring. Another in a string of promises broken and priorities downgraded on the environmental front. As the protestors outside the White House have been singing, “Pick a side Obama”, and it appears that he has.

Electing Our Movement

About a year before the 2008 elections, I had a conversation with a fellow organizer to the effect of “wouldn’t it be amazing if we had smart young people all over the country running for office on climate and energy?”  That idea gradually morphed into the Power Vote campaign, which sought to mobilize young voters in support of strong climate and energy candidates.

But that original vision still remains unfulfilled.

In the last four years, our movement is has grown bigger, more diverse and more experienced.  So why aren’t we running for office?

It won’t be easy (neither is stopping a coal plant).  We may be new at this (same with creating sustainable communities).  But unless we take a risk and try something a little crazy, our communities will be stuck with the same candidates as usual. Continue reading ‘Electing Our Movement’

Will Green Jobs Be YOUTH Jobs?

This post was co-written with Michael Davidson.

Image credit: UOPowerShift09Just in case our 5 years of swarming state capitals decked out in green hard hats, running campaigns calling for more jobs in clean energy, and vowing to only vote for candidates who support renewable energy companies hasn’t made it clear — youth really want more green jobs.

While young people have been some of the biggest advocates for green jobs, no one has really tried to answer the question of whether green jobs will be youth jobs? Will more green jobs mean more jobs for youth, or will young people miss out on the very green jobs we’ve worked so hard to create?

So far, the answer has been “we don’t know.” That’s because, despite all of the green jobs studies that have been done, none of them has really looked at the different kinds of people who actually get green jobs (one exception is for income and education level). This is especially true across different races, ethnicities, genders, and, yeah, ages. So, we set out to change that, writing the first study we know of to look at youth access to green jobs, and also the first written by youth. Continue reading ‘Will Green Jobs Be YOUTH Jobs?’

Massachusetts Residents Call Out Scott Brown, Rally Strong for Clean Air

Crossposted from

Today I got to stand next to more than 50 Massachusetts mothers, children, workers, community leaders, and people of faith to kick off something truly unique – a “crowd-funded” citizen’s campaign to hold Senator Scott Brown accountable for voting to gut the Clean Air Act. At 12:00pm on the sidewalk in front of the JFK Federal Building in Boston, also known as Scott Brown’s district office, we held banners and puppets of Scott Brown and his fat cat supporters “Coal” and “Oil, signs, and a blow-up of the new ad our friends and neighbors funded.

The text of the ad read: “Senator Brown: On April 6th you voted to gut the Clean Air Act. Was it because dirty energy companies and their corporate front groups poured more than $1.9 million into your campaign last year? Are you working for people or Big Polluters?” Interested in joining us in funding the ad? Check it out here.

Continue reading ‘Massachusetts Residents Call Out Scott Brown, Rally Strong for Clean Air’

Power Shift 2011: Join The Briefcase Brigades On April 27

Our guest blogger is Noland Chambliss, a member of the Briefcase Brigades.

Ten thousand young people descended on Washington for the Power Shift conference this weekend to call for bold action from government leaders to address climate change and create a clean energy economy for all. Many of these young people had a more specific, and personal, message for Congress: “I need a job.”

Inspired by passionate speeches addressing youth unemployment by AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and green jobs visionary Van Jones, the members of the Briefcase Brigades are bringing attention to the epidemic of un- and under-employed millennials:

We are ready to work. We know the economy is in bad shape. We know the country is in trouble. We want to help. But first, we need jobs.

Watch the story of the Briefcase Brigades at Power Shift 2011:

On April 27th, while Congress is in recess and members are back in their districts, young people are creating Briefcase Brigades and going to their offices all around the country to demand Congress prioritize jobs over budget cuts.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 5 million young people who are out of work. That doesn’t count people with unpaid internships, people with low-wage jobs that don’t have health insurance, and people who went back to school because they couldn’t find a job. Continue reading ‘Power Shift 2011: Join The Briefcase Brigades On April 27′

Need a green job? Check out Climate Careers

It is that time of year and many of our readers on campus are looking towards graduation or the end of the semester with trepidation. What are you going to do? Your parents may be bugging you for your summer plans and balancing exams with cover letters and resumes.

Well, we are here to help. It is a tough economy and jobs are scarce. Jobs that allow you to continue doing groundbreaking work on solutions to the climate crisis are even scarcer.

However, we are debuting a new section of It’s Getting Hot in Here to provide you with a one-stop shop to find many of those jobs, or at least where you can go to start looking. Climate Careers hosts the EAC jobs board widget, which streams headlines of the most recent jobs sent to the list. Sign up to get jobs in your inbox. Recent jobs listed are:

Executive Director of the Southern Energy Network (Athens, GA)
Campaign Director at Corporate Accountability International
…and for the more technically-minded: Application Engineer_Utility SCADA systems – SmartGridCareers

That isn’t all. We are also providing links to jobs boards at leading websites and environmental and climate organizations. Instead of Googling through a host of nonprofit websites, check it out and use it for a homebase when you are looking for the next internship or that job out of college. Even if you are an experienced campaigner, it is a good place to start looking for the next green job.

If you are looking to hire some of the top talent coming out of the youth climate movement, send your job description here:

Please, let’s makes this a resource for both job seekers and those looking to hire all you smart, capable It’s Getting Hot in Here readers, so tell me if I am missing jobs boards or what resources you would like to see in the Climate Careers section .

Youth Forge Solutions Nationwide – All Are Welcome

At a youth climate meeting in Minnesota in January 2008, a neat idea emerged from discussion:

‘We need to start training young people, not just FOR green jobs, but TO CREATE green jobs. We should start in the Twin Cities this summer.’

Fast-forward three years, and over 250 young people have been trained over three years in Summer of Solutions programs around the country to create innovative and self-sustaining solutions around energy efficiency, green industry, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and smart transportation and design that advance job creation, social justice, and community empowerment. A network of over 70 youth leaders has coalesced to launch a national organization from nothing and develop 2011 Summer of Solutions programs that will support hundreds of youth in creating the clean energy economy in 15 cities nationwide. These programs have expanded rapidly in number, quality, and sustainability over the years without grant support, and with a major influx of funding and leadership in late 2010, we’re just hitting our stride.

As you read on, I’d encourage you to think of any young people (individuals or groups) who might be interested in a summer program based on community-based innovation in the clean energy economy. If so, please invite them to apply to any of our 15 programs nationwide by April 24th at

Continue reading ‘Youth Forge Solutions Nationwide – All Are Welcome’

Ohio’s Callin; It Wants It’s Rail Funds Back!

Post by Janina Klimas, Coordinator for Ohio Student Environmental Coalition. Cross posted from Energy Action Coalition’s blog.

In Tuesday’s State of the Union President Obama promised to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail in the next 25 years. This is huge! And a far cry from the struggle we are facing with the Governor of Ohio to get rail in the Rustbelt.

Ohio students have wasted no time in registering their disenchantment and disapproval of our recently-inaugurated Governor, matching the speed with which John Kasich began undermining Ohio’s recovery, environmental progress and industrial sector-development with a slew of austerity measures, anti-environmental policies, and conservative attacks on public services, upper education, and organized labor. Even before being formally inaugurated as one of the least popular starting governors in our state’s history, Gov. Kasich was overseeing the wreckage of our infrastructural aspirations through the unabashedly-nonsensical and lopsidedly-partisan initiative to kill the ’3C rail corridor;’ a project designed to not only provide alternative transit to one of the most densely traveled corridors in the U.S. currently not served by high-speed rail, but also to provide jobs for Ohio’s families and beleaguered construction sector, and mobility and access both to Ohio’s young talent and elder residents.

The wash out from his success in killing 3C before even taking office? 16,000 jobs lost, $400 million federal stimulus dollars shipped to other states, and Ohio students joining the rest of the state in their lack of interest in any kind of honeymoon. Continue reading ‘Ohio’s Callin; It Wants It’s Rail Funds Back!’

Moving Beyond Dirty Politics and into the New Energy Economy

After months of debating and endless news coverage, the congressional elections are finally behind us. Though the results of these elections will determine much of our nation’s direction for the next few years, the elections themselves have told us something significant about our country and where we stand today.

A controversial yet prescient ad illustrating the role of Big Oil in Congress,

As a young person and a voter, I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed by what has become a custom among candidates: all over the country and among both parties, politicians welcomed the influence of dirty money into the political process. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon Off-shore drilling disaster last April, candidates raked in campaign contributions from fossil fuel industries, some accepting sums totaling over $1 million. How should I have confidence in our leaders when the very industries that funded their campaigns are those corrupting the political agenda, last year spending a combined total of $175 million on lobbying?

But it’s clear that for these industries, this is money well worth shelling out: in the oil industry alone, federal subsidies and tax breaks range between $6 and 39 billion annually. Between 2002-2008, federal fossil fuel subsidies totaled $72.5 billion, going toward tax expenditures, foregone revenues, grants, and direct payments. $14 billion of this total goes to funding oil production overseas; that’s money going to major polluters and not toward creating jobs at home. In 2006, tax expenditures to oil and gas companies made up approximately 88% of total federal subsidies. Most of the largest dirty energy subsidies have been written into the U.S Tax Code as permanent provisions. We’re channeling taxpayer dollars into an industry that is already well established and wealthy and locking ourselves into the gray energy economy.

Continue reading ‘Moving Beyond Dirty Politics and into the New Energy Economy’

Climate Debate and Next Week’s Elections

Next week’s elections might affect climate and energy conservation less than you might think. Although politico says that it will be difficult for GOP candidates to succeed unless they are climate change deniers, evidence suggests that stance may not be so important in terms of protecting the environment if you approach it for the right reasons. It does not necessarily matter what people believe causes environmental changes, as long as we address them as best we can.

Even though states’ energy efficiency and policies seem to reflect their political stances, there is a lot more to it than what we see on the surface, according to a recent study. Though the top ten best and worst states in terms of efficiency and policy may have been mostly “blue” and “red” respectively, there are a number of reasons states focus on energy efficiency. Maggie Molina of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy told the New York Times that those reasons include supply and infrastructure concerns, as well as economic development and job creation.

Many churches have taken a completely apolitical stance to protecting the environment, calling it “creation care“. Nancy Jackson, chair of the Climate and Energy Project, told the New York Times that you can avoid the climate debate and still reduce environmental impact by targeting key areas such as cost-reduction, job creation in “green” fields, and “creation care”.

Continue reading ‘Climate Debate and Next Week’s Elections’