HomeNewsState Democrats reveal plan to create union jobs, combat climate change

State Democrats reveal plan to create union jobs, combat climate change

State Rep. Elizabeth Fielder led a group of state legislators, plus labor and environmental leaders, to announce a new initiative to help create union jobs while combating climate change.

Fielder, who heads the House of Representatives’ Blue-Green Caucus, touted an 11-bill package that is supported by both houses of the legislature.

“Everyone, from electricians to clean-air advocates, wants the same thing: a better future for their kids,” Fiedler said. “It’s time to challenge the narrative that labor and environmental interests are at odds. This package of nearly a dozen bills proves we can unite around a vision for a blue-green future.”

The package hopes to create high-playing union jobs in clean-energy field. Other benefits include reducing consumer costs and increase public transit funding.

Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania political and legislative director Katie Blume touted the benefits that the statewide environmental advocacy group has thrown its support behind.

“Pennsylvanians don’t have to choose between good jobs and protecting the environment,” Blume said. “The legislation being announced today brings together both environmental advocates and our friends in labor around a shared vision. We want to leverage the power of the 21st century clean-energy economy to fight climate change while positioning Pennsylvania to compete on the global stage and attract family-sustaining union jobs.”

The package is designed to leverage President Joe Biden’s landmark infrastructure and climate laws to the benefit Pennsylvania. The Biden administration is investing more than $370 billion to create union jobs while boosting clean energy and tackling pressing environmental justice issues.

“The legislation that we’re proposing today in partnership with the Blue-Green Caucus and our partners in the environmental community will put hardworking Pennsylvanians to work while reducing costs for taxpayers and businesses and helping to boost energy production in Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Building Trades Council president Robert S. Bair said. “We call on the legislature to quickly send these commonsense measures to Gov. Shapiro’s desk so our members can get to work.”

The 55-member Blue-Green Caucus has enlisted labor and environmental leaders to break down barriers that tend to divide labor and environmental advocates.

“The IBEW stands ready to advance the legislation package set forth by the Blue-Green Caucus,” IBEW Third District representative Kris Anderson said. “This is a chance to create employment opportunities and preserve the environment at the same time. As we embark on what the future of energy will look like in PA, the IBEW is prepared to embrace these exciting new opportunities to put our members to work while expanding our ranks.”

The package highlights the commitment of House Democrats to make Pennsylvania a leader in environmental protection.

“These bills should be sent to Gov. Shapiro’s desk immediately,” Natural Resources Defense Council Pennsylvania policy director Robert Routh said. “For years, NRDC has worked alongside LCV, the Sierra Club and allies in labor to equitably address the climate crisis and grow our highly skilled Pennsylvania workforce.

“We are transitioning to a cleaner, more affordable economy, and high-quality union jobs are absolutely necessary. The bills in this package represent a commonsense approach that will attract significant federal investments and meet the governor’s three-part test for climate and energy policy.”

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