Senate Should Debate U.S. Green Job Competitiveness

When it comes to the global race for clean energy jobs, the U.S. is sitting on the sidelines, says BusinessWeek’s Eric Pooley in this excellent column.

Some selected quotes:

Quote: Right now the U.S. Senate is conducting a master class on the perils of legislation by rearview mirror. On July 27, when Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled the "Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act," the two most powerful clean energy provisions were missing: a cap on carbon emissions from the electric power sector and a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), which would require utilities to generate at least 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2021. …

Instead of funding U.S. projects, banks and venture capitalists increasingly are putting their energy money into China, where the market is large and secure, thanks to government mandates. In the second quarter, for example, China attracted more clean-tech asset financing than Europe and the U.S. combined …

[Texas’s Renewable Electricity Standard], signed into law by Governor George W. Bush in 1999, has helped the state become a major producer of U.S. wind power, adding almost 10 gigawatts (up from 0.2 in 1999) and thousands of new jobs in the decade since the law was enacted. Although Texas has reduced its carbon emissions as a result of this push into wind energy, Bush and his fellow Texans didn’t create the industry because they were worried about global warming. They did it because there was money to be made.

There still is. And if Congress doesn’t hurry, most of it is going to be made in China.

We need your help. Please go to and let your Senators hear from you about the urgent need for this legislation.

By Tom Gray,