I'm not fazed by the President not explicitly identifying green jobs in his announcement of the American Jobs Act. It's politically touchy, to be sure -- but it's also a tacit recognition of something else: green jobs are an integral, inextricable part of the American economy. They need to be called out no more than do jobs in auto sales or real estate.
2.7 million Americans have green jobs, according to the Brookings Institute. Those jobs are not just in solar and wind -- they're in transportation, education, manufacturing, recycling. Green jobs are often diverse and subtle, sharing one thing in common: they are part of an effort to make our country cleaner and more sustainable.
The president's proposals are sound and will support and encourage growth in green jobs. His defense of standards limiting pollution would ensure that America evolves towards cleaner, smarter energy and resource use. His proposal that we upgrade our schools and transportation infrastructure means using the best available technology and thinking -- which means buildings and transit that use less energy and create less pollution.
What the president demanded last night wasn't green jobs, it was jobs. Period. And not a moment too soon, of course -- too many of our friends, family members, and neighbors are looking for work.
It's Green For All's role, not the president's, to work with our partners and make the case for a green economy. The president's jobs plan will make that case easier -- even though he didn't say the words.
Follow Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins on Twitter: www.twitter.com/phaedraEL
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