After reporting last week on the climate policy progression carving its way through the Maryland Senate, the same measures were defeated in a Maryland House committee this week. Supposedly, the bill was killed by pressure from industry and labor lobbyists, ironically accompanied by steelworkers draped with “Save Our Jobs” t-shirts.
The labor movement is no stranger to the prospect of global warming legislation, and more intimately than most, understands the need to transition our economy and the base of our workforce. In their press statement last week, the labor unions acknowledged,
There are incredible opportunities to foster the development of all new “green collar” jobs. These jobs will include installing high-performance appliances and machinery, retrofitting buildings that are leaking energy, building wastewater reclamation, and reusing materials, to name a few.
Then, in D.C. today, another big green jobs announcement rang out:
The United Steelworkers (USW), the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Blue Green Alliance, a partnership of the USW and Sierra Club, today launched the national Green Jobs for America campaign. The campaign will focus on the ability of a serious commitment to clean, renewable energy to make us more energy independent, help us end our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels and create over 820,000 new green jobs nationwide.
As part of their effort, they will be running a major educational campaign in a handful of states. Maryland is not one of the states. It seems, however, the campaign could find traction there, as a handful of steelworkers in Maryland could do for a meeting with their union, and they should be easily identified by a t-shirt sounding their common interest: “Save Our Jobs.”