On Aug. 4 the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Green Jobs Act of 2007, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis, D-Calif., to help train American workers for jobs in the renewable energy and energy-efficiency industries. These industries are seen as key to U.S. and world efforts to combat global warming.
“This legislation is an opportunity to advance not only the energy security of our nation, but also the economic security of our families,” Solis said. “Through targeted job training efforts, we can support both our nation’s innovation and technological leadership and lift people out of poverty.”
The Green Jobs Act authorizes up to $125 million in funding to establish national and state job training programs to help address shortages that are impairing growth in green industries, such as energy efficient buildings and construction, renewable electric power, energy efficient vehicles, and biofuels development.
The effort will also link research and development in green industries to job standards and training curricula. Priority for these training programs would be given to veterans, displaced workers, and at-risk young people.
The Senate-passed version, introduced by Sens. Sanders, I-Vt., and Clinton, D-N.Y., of the energy bill includes language similar to the Green Jobs Act. A conference committee will meet to work out differences between the House and Senate passed versions of the energy bill. The final version must be approved by the House and Senate and signed by the president.
The Green Jobs Act is supported by a broad coalition of business, labor, environmental and civil rights organizations.