Notes from the Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference
The underlying theme at the Good Jobs Green Jobs conference in Washington this week was, “Wind works.” But workers once again risk being the victims of broken policy.
The fact is that an unstable renewables policy led to an 80 percent drop in the industry’s startups three times in the last decade, in terms of megawatts and jobs. We need the right renewable policies, especially a renewable electricity standard (RES), to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
We have 85,000 people erecting turbines, making bolts, transporting blades and otherwise showing support for all of us working in wind. They want jobs with a future. The wind industry, if it gets the right policies, will continue to provide them. We need to keep our eye on what’s important: the women and men of wind.
Many companies have taken the plunge and invested in manufacturing here. We need to prove them right and get others to do the same. With 100 new wind manufacturing facilities, we can see there is opportunity for massive growth. But one more downturn could dash all these hopes and surrender this industry to the other 36 countries that have the policies that provide the stability that create the jobs.
Dave Foster of the Blue Green Alliance was right when he said, Congress needs to pass comprehensive clean energy legislation with an RES to provide the market for stable industry and supply chain growth—and to provide the jobs for the women and men who want to work in the wind industry.