Back in July, the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACESA), a bill that lays the groundwork for a transition to a clean-energy economy by setting standards for carbon emissions. In addition to tackling the urgent issue of climate change, this bill represents an opportunity to create millions of new green jobs and to ensure that low-income people have the training and opportunity to access employment in emerging green sectors. Click here for a one-page resource on the connection between green jobs and poverty-reduction. In the House version of the ACESA bill, two key provisions help to carve out green pathways out of poverty:
- The Green Construction Careers Demonstration Project. This provision is designed to help low-income Americans move into middle class careers in the green economy for low-income Americans. This Project allows the Secretaries of Labor and Energy to target employment and training opportunities in green construction to workers and communities who traditionally have had little access to career-track jobs in the building trades.
- Funding for the Green Jobs Act. The Green Jobs Act is an existing program that helps those workers most impacted by unemployment and pollution to connect with the training and support they need to participate in the green economy. The House version of ACESA allocates 0.75% of the allowance value of carbon emissions (approximately $860 million) to the Green Jobs Act in 2012 and 2013. As the Senate moves forward, we must urge them to build on these provisions, allocating allowance values to the Green Jobs Act beyond 2013 in order to meet the ongoing demand for skilled workers in the clean energy economy.
It is up to us to ensure that the transition to a clean-energy economy will lead to meaningful poverty-reduction and that communities are not left out of the opportunities presented by the emerging, green sectors. Please schedule a meeting with your Senators during August recess. NOW is the time to weigh in on these policy principles, as the Senate will begin tackling this critical legislation this fall.