Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jobs, You Say, Mr. President?

Land in Alberta Befor and After Tar Sand Oil Extraction photo: Watchdog Progressive

The president will approve the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, planet be damned (current "cancellation" not withstanding), I know it. I feel it. Or, maybe he has turned Republican too many times already, so I am conditioned to expect the worst. I think he fears Republican politicians, and so-called business "leaders" (who should really be called "rich-folk-leaders") calling him a "job-killer." It isn't environmental regulations (quite the contrary, such regulations create jobs), and it isn't uncertainty (business in predicated on uncertainty -- hence competition, profits, and loss!) that prevents the creation of jobs. It is impoverishment of the middle-class. And that is due solely to Republican Starve the Beast policy, and the craven and callous short term greed of "business leaders" who sold off our manufacturing base for pennies on the dollar, and became importers.

Anyway, here is a letter I have sent to the President about ten times (the XL part, the Renewable Energy Standard [RES] part I added today). You might want to send something similar, or identical. Feel free. In fact, do it right now. Here is the link to the White House:

Dear Mr. President,

    I urge you to deny a permit to the Keystone XL pipeline. Tar sand oil extraction is a colossal environmental disaster. If you permit this pipeline, you will be giving the nod to the immediate destruction of vast tracts of Alberta, and ultimately to our oceans, forests, and thousands of species... not to mention the renewable energy job opportunities lost through opportunity cost and the economic impacts of a ruined US environment and reputation.
    Jim Hansen, a renowned climate scientist at NASA, condensed the message well: "Tar sands production is game over for global warming mitigation." If you stand up for nothing else during your presidency, stand up for this; stop Keystone XL, and be remembered as the only president who stood up to Big Oil. Thanks.

    Incidentally, if you are interested in creating good, long-term, domestic jobs, A Renewable Energy Standard of at least 15% (how about 25% by 2025, still an embarrassingly modest goal -- ask Mr. Chu) provides essential motivation for utilities to replace existing inefficient, toxic, capital intensive electricity generators with efficient, cost-effective, labor-intensive renewable energy.

    Replacing coal with renewable energy -- a plausible, cost-effective plan -- would create 4.5 million net jobs, and generate $4.3 trillion in job-creating economic activity. (

    So why not support an RES (i.e. S.559.IS, as well as the REC bill, S.1291)? Because you fear energy industry propagandists will attack you. Fear. That's the only reason not to vigorously promote renewable energy. Fear that you will not be re-elected.

    Please find the courage to act in the best interest of your constituents and promote renewable energy with all the enthusiasm you can muster. It is our only hope for a viable economic and environmental future.

Thanks, again.   
Jim Welke
Green Collar Jobs, via climatelab photo: Solar Richmond

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