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Monday, July 16, 2007

Green Collar Jobs

The John Edwards Presidential campaign recently unveiled an ambitious plan for 1 million new jobs in the clean tech sector. The cleverly dubbed "Green Collar" jobs moniker is not only good marketing, it is a very promising initiative with a high probability of success - as long as the investments and subsidies for these new jobs go to the right sectors and the right people.

Here are a few of the things I like about the Green Collar jobs plan:

  • The plan will build a broader manufacturing base for clean tech in the US
  • The plan would create job certifications which means there will be an available pool of qualified installers for those wanting solar and even wind power on their properties. This is huge as the current demand for consultants and installers far outstrips the supply
  • The job training plan will involve high schools and community colleges - this is good because it builds awareness on clean tech and global warmer at an earlier stage. Most four year colleges and universities haven't even begun to scratch the surface on this issue!
  • National 25% renewable electricity - this is a good start
  • Funding of the plan comes from Edwards proposed $10 billion New Economy Energy Fund which is funded by the auctioning of greenhouse gas pollution permits and the repealing of oil subsidies. I like this because it is sort of like a sin tax - make the big polluters who refuse to change pay big time for their mess
As for what I don't like, it is still too early to tell. Although I don't agree with Edwards on certain issues, like his proposal to raise income taxes on the rich - those who make more than $200k per year, (people making $200k in NY are not rich!) I want to give him a chance on this because I agree with him that this is the first real proposal from a Presidential Candidate, and it is a very aggressive one that combines solving the climate change problem with creating 150,000 new jobs per year.

Here are some youtube clips of Edwards interviews on the Green Collar initiative.

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