January 21st, 2009
By Shermakaye Bass
Green Right Now
It’s about jobs.
America’s newly inaugurated President, Barack Obama, has a Herculean task ahead of him, no question. Virtually everyone from the far right to the hard left agrees that if the new leader wants to rescue America’s economy, it’s all about jobs.
And as Mr. Obama promised, the buzz is about green jobs – a green economy, greening our buildings, revamping parks, wildlife refuges and public spaces. These involve “shovel-ready” jobs, some of which can be started within 90 days of Obama’s inauguration, say eco-leaders, who’ve been lobbying Washington to fund what could amount to an environmental restoration of the United States.
Last week, when the U.S. Congress presented its $825 billion recovery package, legislators gave the first hint that they are listening. The package proposes $90 billion for infrastructure and $54 billion to support renewable-energy production and research — all aimed at modernizing the economy and stopping the river of pink slips that claimed two million jobs in just the last four months of 2008. As Appropriations Committee chairman, Rep. David Obey, (D-Wisc.), pointed out – without the recovery plan, the country could face 12 percent unemployment in 2009.