"Green the Bailout"

September 29th, 2008

In Saturday’s New York Times, Thomas Friedman wants to “Green the Bailout” by investing, instead of entirely in Wall Street firms, also in America’s future “green-collar” economy:

“….when this bailout is over, we need the next president — this one is wasted — to launch an E.T., energy technology, revolution with the same urgency as this bailout. Otherwise, all we will have done is bought ourselves a respite, but not a future. The exciting thing about the energy technology revolution is that it spans the whole economy — from green-collar construction jobs to high-tech solar panel designing jobs. It could lift so many boats.

“In a green economy, we would rely less on credit from foreigners “and more on creativity from Americans,” argued Van Jones, president of Green for All, and author of the forthcoming “The Green Collar Economy.” “It’s time to stop borrowing and start building. America’s No. 1 resource is not oil or mortgages. Our No. 1 resource is our people. Let’s put people back to work — retrofitting and repowering America. … You can’t base a national economy on credit cards. But you can base it on solar panels, wind turbines, smart biofuels and a massive program to weatherize every building and home in America.”

Friedman and Jones are right: America’s future depends on growing a green economy. And a greening economy for America is an opportunity for Texas: clean, renewable energy production will clean up our air, provide plentiful, affordable power, create green-collar jobs and assure Texas’ continued prominence as an energy leader.

But Texas won’t be a leader unless we send pro-conservation leaders to Austin. Texas League of Conservation Voters is endorsing the best and the brightest leaders for our state – leaders who can help Texas be cleaner and greener, thereby assuring quality of life for Texas for generations to come.