(Remarks as prepared for delivery)
The focus of today’s hearing is on clean energy jobs, economic growth, and global warming policies from a state and local perspective. Providing incentives for clean energy is a win-win solution for our country -- it helps to address the threat of global warming and it builds the foundation for long term recovery and prosperity. Right now, our states, cities and counties are leading the way in adopting smart policies to drive the transition to a clean energy economy.
I would like to thank our distinguished witnesses for being here today. On the first panel we have:
• Governor Bill Ritter from the State of Colorado,
• Governor Chris Gregoire from the State of Washington,
• Governor John Hoeven from the State of North Dakota,
• Governor Jon Corzine from the State of New Jersey.
On the second panel we have:
• Mayor Robert Kiss from the City of Burlington, Vermont,
• Mayor William Euille from the City of Alexandria, Virginia,
• State Representative John Lowery from Arkansas,
• Mayor Douglas Palmer from the City of Trenton, New Jersey.
We are facing two historic challenges today – the current recession, and the dangers of unchecked global warming. And we have the opportunity to address both with a single solution that will create millions of clean energy jobs in America, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and protect our children and grandchildren from pollution.
I agree with President Obama, who said: “We can remain one of the world’s leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that would allow us to become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy. We can let climate change continue to go unchecked, or we can help stop it. We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for lasting prosperity.”
Legislation that provides incentives for clean energy will create jobs, increase our energy efficiency, save families and businesses money in energy costs and drive technological innovation.
When we provide incentives for clean energy development, we invest in American jobs. What kind of jobs are needed to build the clean energy economy? The University of Massachusetts at Amherst found that clean energy industries employ construction workers, electricians, boilermakers, mechanics, plant operators, farmers, engineers, scientists, and teachers.
My State of California is a national leader in clean energy job creation. A June 2009 Pew Charitable Trusts report found that more than 10,000 new clean energy businesses were launched in California from 1998 to 2007. During this period, clean energy investments created more than 125,000 jobs and generated jobs faster than the state’s economy as a whole.
I look forward to today’s testimony from state and local officials who are implementing innovative policies to help build the foundation for the clean energy economy.
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