Greening the Stimulus Plan -- Van Jones Testifies

Van Jones is encouraging Congress to act to create 'green collar jobs.'. (Photo: Gage Skidmore [CC by SA-2.0]/Flickr)

Van Jones testified today before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming presided over by Chairman Ed Markey. His main focus was to dispel the notion that the term "green jobs" was somehow rhetorical, or not based in fact, and to clarify for the record what it means. Van stated that there the term is still rarely heard in the mainstream press and confusion exists over its exact definition:

Every day, someone asks me: “Oh, yes, we are very excited about all you are doing. But what exactly IS a green job?” Also, some vocal opponents and naysayers have begun spreading falsehoods and confusion about what is in fact a very simple and practical concept. It must be said that even proponents of the idea have missed important opportunities to move the green jobs concept from rhetoric to reality.

Van then goes on to provide a simple definition, saying a green collar job is far from revolutionary, but rather an "upgraded" blue collar job - carpentry, roofing, electricians, plumbers, metal workers -- one that increases the training and skill level of the employee while " better respect the environment."

The Green Jobs Act was in fact passed into law in December of last year, but has yet to be funded. So Van Jones and his organization Green for All are lobbying Congress to fund the Act, which could create millions of new jobs by allocating funds from Obama's economic stimulus package. You can sign the 'green the stimulus' petition on line. As defined by that Act, eligible industries include:

(1) energy-efficient building, construction, and retrofits industries; (construction)

(2) renewable electric power industry; (energy)

(3) energy efficient and advanced drive train vehicle industry; (transportation)

(4) biofuels industry; (energy)

(5) deconstruction and materials use industries; (recycling)

(6) energy efficiency assessment industry serving the residential, commercial, or industrial sectors; and (construction/energy)

(7) manufacturers that produce sustainable products using environmentally sustainable processes and materials (manufacturing).

The testimony is great and clarifies 3 of the main myths around using green jobs to stimulate the economy. Read the full testimony on the Green For All website. Also read my post on Van Jones and the Green Revolution.