Washington, D.C.-- Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks this morning at the 2010 Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference. This year's theme is “Transforming Ideas into Action.” Below are the Speaker's remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Terry [O'Sullivan], for that kind introduction. As General President of the Laborers' International Union of North America, you represent those who are greening our nation's infrastructure - and you are helping to build a better future for all of our nation's workers.
“Thank you, Dave Foster and the BlueGreen Alliance, for bringing our friends in labor, business, and the environmental community together. When we met in Copenhagen last year, we pledged to uphold the truth that protecting the environment protects us all. Today, your partnership continues to lead the charge to a green economy.
“Let me recognize four of those leaders: Leo Gerard, President of the United Steel Workers; Carl Pope and Michael Brune of the Sierra Club; and Larry Cohen, President of the Communications Workers of America.
“It's great to be here with so many people committed to a clean energy economy from San Francisco and throughout California.
“Last year, I was honored to be the first to receive the ‘Green Jobs Champion' award. This year, you have honored the work of the two champions of our environment and our economy: Chairmen Henry Waxman and Ed Markey.
“So many of the individuals and organizations here today stood strong throughout our fight for quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
“Together, we formed a powerful coalition to make history for our country and progress for the American people. Now, we need that same commitment - that same spirit - to build a clean energy economy.
“The history of America's economic progress is a story of invention and creativity; in the words of this conference's theme, ‘Investment, Innovation, Action.'
“America's growth as a nation stems from the ingenuity and drive of its people - the commitment to invest in our schools, give our entrepreneurs the tools to innovate, and take action on behalf of a workers in pursuit of the common good.
“For three years running, the ‘Good Jobs, Green Jobs' conference has taken this tradition of building a brighter future for our country and our planet to heart. You've led the charge on every front - from your annual Green Jobs Expo to your advocacy on Capitol Hill.
“Working together, ‘Good Jobs, Green Jobs' has rallied an unlikely - yet strong - coalition of leaders around a simple set of principles:
- Clean energy will power our future.
- Sustainability will be the foundation of our long-term prosperity.
“In his inspirational Inaugural Address, President Obama called on us to ‘harness the sun and the wind and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.'
“One week and one day later, Congress passed the Recovery Act, making historic investments in a clean energy economy that has ignited our economic recovery today - and will continue to create good-paying jobs in the future. We thank you for your support for that initiative.
“The nation has seen the fruits of your ideas and your labor across the country:
- In San Francisco, where Jobs Now is using Recovery Act dollars to put people to work in green jobs.
- In Michigan, where idle plants are up and running - producing wind turbines.
- In cities, counties, and states all over the nation, where the Recovery Act is allowing us to install a new, smart grid, weatherize homes, and generate more renewable energy - creating an assembly line to bring good jobs and green power to America's neighborhoods.
“In Congress, we have stood strong in the drive for good, green jobs. We understand that the 21st century will be led by those who invest, innovate, and act. We've said all along that clean energy is about four things: jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.
“Creating jobs was central to the President's budget, founded on three critical components of our nation's prosperity:
- Health care for all Americans;
- Education and innovation;
- Clean energy jobs.
“In keeping with the budget, the House took another bold step forward by passing the Waxman-Markey bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would create 1.7 million jobs, reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, and cut the pollution that causes global warming.
“This legislation is an opportunity to transform our economy and create jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. It's a chance to further unleash private sector investment in clean energy and make America the leader in global innovation.
“It will promote new, clean energy technology - made in America, by American workers, to power America's households. The House has acted. We hope the Senate will act soon. We all need to work together to get a final bill to the President's desk.
“These steps build on a record promoting clean energy and combating climate change - the flagship issues of the Democratic Congress.
“In the last three years, we:
- Raised fuel efficiency standards for the first time in more than three decades;
- Made an unprecedented commitment to more affordable, homegrown, American biofuels;
- Last week, our Science and Technology Committee voted to extend the COMPETES Act - making our Innovation Agenda work for our economy and increasing our support for advanced energy research.
“In just a few days, the House will build on that record of achievement by voting on HomeStar, a bill to help homeowners make energy efficiency improvements in their houses. HomeStar will rapidly create jobs in both construction and manufacturing, sectors that have seen high levels of unemployment - while our families save money on their bills.
“Today - as we see the beginnings of a new era of economic growth - we must have a new prosperity when more people can participate in our economic success. It's not enough to people back to work - we must address chronic unemployment.
“We must train the next generation of workers in the good-paying jobs of the 21st century. And clean energy jobs is one way to do just that.
“We know our recovery and our prosperity depend on making the United States first in clean energy. For our economy and our workers, America must be first.
“With a renewed commitment - with each of you as guides to a future that sustains our environment and our economy - we will be first in investments that produce good-paying jobs for our workers and protect our planet.
“Working with all of you, we can promote our national security, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs for America's workers, and protect God's beautiful creation.
“Together, we can uphold our pledge to, as this conference says, ‘Investment, Innovation, Action.' And we can leave our country, our environment, and our economy better off for generations to come.”