Earth Day has turned out to be a gorgeous one here in the Twin Cities, and for the first time in awhile, it’s also a day in which people can have a lot of optimism that our country may finally be ready to act to prevent the worst impacts of global warming. Looking at the Waxman-Markey legislation moving through Congress and a study from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) supporting similar efforts, if legislation is pushed through this year the benefits will be tremendous. From The Wonk Room:
– We can save consumers money on their energy bills because of increased energy efficiency, even though electricity rates and gasoline prices go up slightly. That means families will see average household savings of 0 a year in 2030, while businesses will, all together, save nearly 0 billion a year.
– We can cut the use of oil and petroleum products by 6 million barrels a day in 2030 – as much oil as we currently import from OPEC and 30 percent of our nation’s current total daily oil consumption.
Head over to The Wonk Room to see even more great things energy and earth concious legislation can do for us all. The video above from the White House, shows us the even more immediate benefits we can realize with investments in a green economy. JOBS! Investments in green-tech can provide millions of jobs right here in America, jobs that can’t be outsourced. Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu’s op-ed shows the green jobs economy in the making:
Recently, we visited the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, where workers are being trained for green jobs like the ones the Recovery Act is creating. These jobs range from the construction of new green buildings to the installation of energy-efficient street lights to conducting energy audits and upgrading older buildings.
By providing the training that will turn 20th century blue-collar jobs into secure 21st century green-collar jobs, we are paving a pathway out of poverty; strengthening urban and rural communities; rebuilding a strong middle class; and protecting the health of our citizens and planet.
This really is a chance for us to build an economy that not only is sustainable for the earth, but for the American workforce too. It’s not just a focus on the federal level either. From State Senator Tarryl Clark we get a local look at Earth Day and building the green economy.
So get outside and enjoy this beautiful day, and Happy Earth Day.