FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Clean Energy, Ski Industry, Green Job Leaders Join Forces in Nationwide 'Race' for American Jobs and Innovation
Company Executives, Green Job Groups Unite to Call for Swift Action on Energy/Climate Legislation in Washington
Clean energy and skiing industry executives joined veteran leaders and green building advocates at the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado Center today for the second leg of Race for American Jobs & Clean Energy Leadership, a coast-to-coast virtual race to drive home the economic benefit of national climate and energy legislation.
Sponsored by We Can Lead, the campaign aims to collect hundreds of business leader endorsements as it crosses the country making the case that strong climate policies are urgently needed to create jobs, promote technological innovation and boost energy independence—and that the Senate must act now on stalled legislation. The race kicked off last week at Nike headquarters in Oregon and will travel to Ohio, New Hampshire and Washington in the next two weeks.
“We only have a short period of time to act,” said Auden Schendler, executive director sustainability at the Aspen Skiing Co. “We have to drive policy change in Washington now and we must confront and defeat the well-funded entities that are denying the need for action today. Come join our fight.”
Comprehensive climate and energy policies such as those in the proposed Senate legislation could create up to 30,000 jobs in Colorado alone, raising average household income by as much as $1,138 per year, and grow the state economy by $1 billion by 2020, according to a recent study by the University of California. At the national level, up to 1.7 million new jobs could be created, while GDP could be boosted by $39-$111 billion.
Colorado business leaders spotlighted at the event spoke about the jobs they are already creating by tackling environmental challenges.
“Veterans Green Jobs sees a direct correlation between creating a robust clean energy economy in the United States and improving our environment and national security,” said Stacy Bare, director of national programs for Veterans Green Jobs, which has provided job training and employment in green industries for more than 100 Colorado veterans in the past year alone. “More green jobs will help ensure that the men and women who serve our country have access to a job that truly matters, and an effective transition from their duties in defense of our great country.”
“Climate and energy legislation is absolutely critical for Colorado and the rest of the country to move forward economically,” said Ravi Malhotra, founder and chairman of iCAST, which promotes energy efficiency and other sustainable development in Colorado’s underserved communities. “Leadership in clean tech is where the competition is going to be in the world – with China and others – in terms of technology innovation and where the clean energy solutions come from. We either get into this now, with the right policies, or we’ll be sitting it out and losing our economic dominance.”
Malhotra says Colorado is especially well positioned to take advantage of strong climate and energy policies. “The top venture capitalists see Colorado as one of the top three places in the country for making clean tech investments,” he said.
“How we source and use our energy will determine whether humans remain a viable species on this planet,” added John Powers, director of the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado.
The Colorado executives who gathered for the race event demonstrated their support for clean energy innovation and job creation by signing a custom-made baton that will be passed between each leg of the race. We Can Lead will continue to collect signatures on the baton as the race crosses the country. Business leaders will deliver the baton to Congress on March 10 and hold policy meetings with U.S. Senators and the Obama Administration.
Race events are planned for the following dates and locations:
March 2, Columbus, Ohio
March 9, Manchester, NH
March 10, Washington D.C.
Additional information about the upcoming events will be posted at http://www.wecanlead.org/race/
About We Can Lead
We Can Lead is sponsored by Ceres' Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), which includes Aspen Skiing Co., North Face, Nike and a dozen other major consumer brands, and the Clean Economy Network, Inc. For more on We Can Lead, visit www.wecanlead.org.
Ceres is the largest coalition of investors, environmental and public interest organizations in North America. Ceres launched and coordinates the BICEP coalition, whose members include Levi Strauss & Co., Nike Starbucks, Sun Microsystems, The Timberland Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Clif Bar & Company, eBay, Gap, Jones Lang LaSalle, The North Face, Seventh Generation, Ben and Jerry's, Eileen Fisher, Stonyfield Farm Inc., and Symantec. For more information on BICEP, visit www.ceres.org/bicep.
About the Clean Economy Network
The Clean Economy Network, Inc. (CEN) is the national non-partisan advocacy organization for individuals who support the development of a clean economy. It develops public positions on, and actively engages with policymakers and elected officials to lobby for specific legislative proposals critical to the development and growth of a new clean economy.