Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The topic of green jobs cropped up at Friday’s confirmation hearing for Labor nominee Hilda Solis before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee. From Solis’s opening statement:

If confirmed, I will work with President-elect Obama, my colleagues in the Cabinet and you to reinvest in and restructure workforce development and ensure a strong unemployment insurance system. This includes promoting what we now know as green-collar jobs. These are jobs that will provide economic security for our middle-class families while reducing our nation’s dependency on foreign oil and resources. These are jobs that will also stay in the United States. My hope is that these jobs will not be outsourced.

And later in the hearing:

I know in the state of California we are looking very anxiously to see that we can help rebuild our schools, help to transform our transportation system to help reduce air pollution and congestion, and get people to work on time … I think the greatest asset that I see here sitting before you is to promote the green-collar jobs and trying to make that opportunity available, not just to those that are already looking for jobs, but those that want to have an opportunity for a career change.

And then this soft-ball exchange with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.):

Sen. Sanders: Now, let me begin by just asking you a few questions, and the first one is going to be a very, very tough question. You helped create in the House the Green Jobs Workforce Training Program, and I worked with you in the Senate, along with Senator Clinton. Now, on that very tough question, will you help us move that program along, the one that you helped create?

(Laughter.)

Rep. Solis: Yes.