Letter to Kent Conrad and Judd Gregg, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, Re: Green Collar Jobs Proposal

Stabenow Gains Support for Green Collar Jobs Proposal

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), along with 32 of her Senate Colleagues, including 6 members of the Senate Budget Committee, today sent a letter to Chairman Conrad (D-ND) and Ranking Member Gregg (R-NH) urging full funding of Stabenow's Green Collar Jobs Proposal.

"This proposal is about investing in the newest alternative energy technologies to create a greener future and ensure the next generation of energy technologies is created and produced here at home," said Stabenow. "If we don't make the real investments in advanced batteries and other alternative energy technologies, we are in danger of simply moving from a dependence on foreign oil to a dependence on foreign technology."

Full Text of the Letter Follows:

The Honorable Kent Conrad
Chairman
Senate Budget Committee
624 Dirksen Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Judd Gregg
Ranking Member
Senate Budget Committee
624 Dirksen Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Conrad and Ranking Member Gregg:

The recently enacted Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 provides this Congress with a great opportunity for a Green Collar Jobs Initiative to fund priority energy policies. It is time for Congress to turn its attentions to the vital policies within that can move this country towards energy independence and create new green collar jobs. With this in mind, we are writing to request that the budget provide full funding--$7.5 billion--for a Green Collar Jobs Initiative which will fund priority alternative and renewable energy policies from the Energy Bill.

Funding a Green Collar Jobs Initiative will not only move us towards energy independence and provide a cleaner environment, but it can also bring about another important benefit: new, good-paying jobs. Investing in new green job opportunities will result in more energy efficient buildings, solar panels, wind turbines, advanced technology vehicles with advanced electric batteries, and renewable biofuels and energy.

The United States has the opportunity to improve our economy and global competitiveness by creating green jobs at home, in a growing sector that produces clean and efficient homes, appliances, vehicles, fuels, and energy. Investing domestically now will ensure we do not have to import renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, and advanced biofuels. Moreover, with the right incentives we will have American workers and manufactures building the next generation of automobiles and advanced technology batteries. Overall, with all these new green industries, green job training can help many unemployed/underemployed workers find new and better-paying jobs.

While there are many programs in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, fully funding these priority areas will make a Green Collar Jobs Initiative a reality for 2009:

* Weatherization, Commercial Building Initiatives & Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants
* Incentives for Advanced Battery Production and Storage Capability (vehicles, solar, wave and wind)
* Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training Program
* Loans for retooling factories for the production of advanced technology vehicles (i.e. hybrids, plug-ins hybrids, advanced direct injection gasoline, advanced diesel, and fuel cells)
* Advanced Biofuels Production and Infrastructure

We sincerely appreciate your consideration of this request in addition to existing research and deployment initiatives. We look forward to working with you to provide a real commitment to energy independence and a clean environment, as well as, to spur the green jobs that will benefit our great nation.

Sincerely,
Senator Stabenow (D-MI)
Senator Akaka (D-HI)
Senator Bayh (D-IN)
Senator Biden (D-DE)
Senator Bingaman (D-NM)
Senator Boxer (D-CA)
Senator Brown (D-OH)
Senator Cantwell (D-WA)
Senator Cardin (D-MD)
Senator Carper (D-DE)
Senator Casey (D-PA)
Senator Clinton (D-NY)
Senator Dodd (D-CT)
Senator Feingold (D-WI)
Senator Johnson (D-SD)
Senator Kennedy (D-MA)
Senator Kerry (D-MA)
Senator Klobuchar (D-MN)
Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Senator Leahy (D-VT)
Senator Levin (D-MI)
Senator Lieberman (I-CT)
Senator Menendez (D-NJ)
Senator McCaskill (D-MO)
Senator Mikulski (D-MD)
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Senator Obama (D-IL)
Senator Reed (D-RI)
Senator Salazar (D-CO)
Senator Schumer (D-NY)
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI)
Senator Wyden (D-OR)