A question that is being asked by talking heads on the right-wing yak shows lately is, “Where are all the green jobs?” Well, there is a simple answer: Those jobs are here in the Southwest, my little conservative Debbie Downers. All over Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona you will find massive solar projects with thousands of construction workers getting their first paychecks in months or, in some cases, years. There are so many solar-energy jobs helping us climb out of the absolute depression in the electrical industry that you can’t swing a Birkenstock and not hit one.
That’s right, despite their efforts to kill every single meaningful jobs bill in the House and Senate for the last four years, conservatives have failed to stop the sprouts and shoots of the new green economy.
Why is it happening now? There is a requirement for all of California’s electric utilities to buy 33 percent of our power from renewable energy sources by 2020.
(In today’s Los Angeles Daily News, staff writer Dakota Smith reports on one of the city’s most promising initiatives — an energy efficiency program that is saving consumers money, creating jobs and reducing our energy use. The project, a partnership between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 , the union representing the utility’s workers, and the Department of Water and Power, has received strong support from RePower LA, a broad-based coalition that promotes the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency.)
Lorraine Cannon stretches every dollar. The 84-year-old lives off a monthly retirement check from L.A County, and she shares her Pacoima house with her granddaughter and three young great-grandchildren.
But now helping to pay the bills is an unlikely source: the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Cannon’s house was picked for an energy efficiency makeover by the department,
RePower LA’s proposal “appears to be one of those rare public policy ideas that generates not only broad, but enthusiastic support from the electorate. Voters appreciate that it not only creates needed jobs, opportunities with union benefits, but it does so while cleaning our air, reducing electricity bills for 10,000 homes and businesses a year, and lowering electricity generating costs for generations
The Board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power took a huge step towards a greener, more efficient Los Angeles last Thursday. With a unanimous vote, the Board more than doubled LADWP’s investment in energy efficiency programs while also committing to sustaining that investment over the long term.
The Board set a goal of reducing energy consumption “at least 10%” with a soft target of 15% by 2020, pending the results of a new energy efficiency potential study. “These are significant increases and set LADWP on the path to be a leader in energy efficiency, allowing its customers to take advantage of this clean and cheap source of power,” NRDC’s Kristin Eberhard blogged the next day. “A robust energy efficiency budget can help create jobs and displace dirty coal in LADWP’s portfolio.” The vote came after over a year-and-a-half of organizing by a diverse coalition of environmentalists,