Clean tech is answer to jobs, jobs, jobs
Jobs, jobs, jobs. That was the Republican mantra in the run-up to the mid-term elections before the Grand Old Party regained control of the House and neutered the Democrats’ control of the Senate. But since taking over the House, job creation has not been a priority for the GOP. Instead, Republicans have pushed for an agenda to balance the budget and undermine women’s rights (see abortion, Planned Parenthood, etc.), unions (see Wisconsin and dozens of other states) and regulatory agencies (first up would be the EPA).
What’s worse, though, is that under this guise of being pro-business and pro-jobs, the Republican party is actually hamstringing our economy in a serious fashion. Not because they don’t believe in job creation. But because they don’t believe in global warming, climate change and most importantly, clean technology.
As Hal Harvey, CEO of Climate Works, a non-profit environmental organization, told the New York Times in a story on Thursday, “This is a $5 trillion business and if we fail to be serious players in the new energy economy, the costs will be staggering to this country. We’ve let energy policy succumb to partisan politics.”
Instead, what we’ve seen are countries from Europe, Asia and Latin America thriving in the clean technology sector, including setting up shop in the U.S. The Pew Charitable Trusts calls clean power “A $2.3 trillion opportunity.”
Republicans in Congress call it a waste and lead the misguided cries of climate deniers. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member on the committee on Environment and Public Works, calls global warming a hoax.
What is not a hoax is the money and effort countries outside of the U.S. are devoting to clean technology. That includes money for research & development, as well as a mix of incentives from their governments in the form of tax breaks, loans and regulations, all of which have been anathema to the Republican party.
But until Republicans put aside their climate denials and embrace the science surrounding climate change — the science of the world, that is, and not just the U.S. — then our emergence in the clean technology sector — and the jobs, jobs, jobs that go along with that — will be little more than a distant dream.