Los Angeles – America can reduce global warming pollution by nearly 10 percent annually, replace the power equivalent of 170 coal fired power plants, and create or sustain more than 3 million jobs by making investments in clean energy and transportation a cornerstone of President-elect Obama’s economic recovery plan, according to a report by Environment California. California stands to benefit tremendously from a push toward clean energy.
“Our country is challenged by the climate crisis and the need for a twenty-first century infrastructure,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “We must break free of the failed energy policies of the past and embrace a clean, renewable energy future for our environment and our economy.”
“Clean energy can protect our environment and rev our economic engine to generate a brighter future for California,” said Jeremy D. Mills with Environment California. “This report shows that protecting our environment and building our economy are mutually beneficial goals.”
Environment California’s report, Clean Energy, Bright Future, estimates the environmental benefits of $142 billion in investments in clean energy such as wind and solar power and green infrastructure such as public transit. These investments will reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the leading cause of global warming, by 670 million tons per year when fully implemented. This would represent a significant step towards reducing the nation’s global warming pollution by what scientists say is necessary to avert the worst impacts of global warming.
"The federal recovery plan needs to solve our energy and environmental crisis while providing a jump-start for the economy,” said Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti. “Proposals like these will foster the transition to the green economy."
California has the opportunity to benefit from a green economic recovery and transition to a new energy economy, according to the group. For example in Los Angeles just two of the many projects that could potentially benefit from this investment are Phase II of the Gold line or the Sepulveda Reversible Lane Project
“If we continue with business as usual - dirty energy and highways to nowhere - we will be laying the groundwork for decades of increased global warming pollution,” said Mills.
Environment California’s proposals have the potential to meet the bulk of President-elect Obama’s goal of creating or sustaining nearly 3 million jobs and will help the president-elect fulfill his promise to reduce the nation’s oil dependence, according to the analysis.
Among the recommendations in the report are weatherizing U.S. homes and businesses, training workers for new, clean energy industries, and increasing public transportation capacity to meet rapidly growing demand.
“Big Oil, King Coal, the road-builders and other polluting interests want to dominate the economic recovery program,” warned Mills. “We are calling on Congressman Bilbray and the rest of the new Congress to keep it clean and pass a green recovery plan for a cleaner safer stronger America.”