09/10/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Cities Will Play a Role in America's New Green Economy

Today, I had the privilege of participating in a series of great discussions on the future of energy and clean technology in America. Former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid all participated in the conversation as part of The National Clean Energy Summit hosted by the Center for American Progress.

I was honored to participate and, as the only Mayor in the discussion, I described the key role that Los Angeles and other cities around the country can play in the emerging green economy.

As a City with significant amounts of trade and transport, I shared with the group the success Los Angeles has had with the Clean Truck Program at our Port, which helps cargo drivers get rid of their dirty, emissions-spewing trucks and replace them with trucks that run on clean-burning sources of energy like natural gas.

The program has thus far been a success and removed nearly 5,000 dirty trucks from the road. Not only is this good for our environment, but it improves air quality and overall health of the people around the Port.

We also talked about the importance of making green jobs accessible for everyone. With high unemployment rates around the country, it is important that we create green collar jobs and train workers in the new technology of the green economy.

The conversation was lively and generated a lot of great ideas, but the main takeaway from the day was that the key to recovering from this economic crisis is building new markets in clean technology and creating the green jobs of tomorrow. When it comes to cleaning our environment and stimulating the economy, we're all in this together. And today's summit has reminded us that with the right investment of private capital and government resources, we can effectively transition ourselves away from an economy based on dirty energy, and transform America into the capital of clean technology.

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