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DATE: October 12, 2004
Diane Doucette, Redefining Progress Tel: (510) 444 3041
Andrew Hoerner, Redefining Progress Tel: (510) 444 3041
James Barrett, Redefining Progress Tel: (202) 234-9665

Oakland, Calif.—A coalition of labor and environmental advocates are hailing the findings of a new report that clearly demonstrates how smarter environmental policies can lead to significant job creation. The report "Smarter, Cleaner, Stronger: Secure Jobs, Clean Environment, and Less Foreign Oil" details for the first time on a national and a state-by-state basis, the economic benefits that will result from energy policies that stimulate the development of clean energy technologies. The report, released today by Redefining Progress, the Oakland California-based think tank, was endorsed by such influential groups as the United Steelworkers, the Sierra Club, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Natural Resources Defense Council, UNITE HERE and the New Jersey Work Environmental Council. Several other labor and environmental groups endorsed the report as well. The report explains how America can protect the environment, save consumers money, and build a secure domestic energy base while simultaneously creating good new jobs throughout the country. The report emphasizes that American ingenuity will lead the way to energy security and a strong economy.

"It's time to explode the myth that you can't create high-paying jobs, and protect the environment at the same time - that's a false choice" says Dave Foster, District 11 Director of the United Steelworkers. "You can design policies that are good for the environment while creating competitive new jobs - and this new report illustrates how to do that now."

The "Smarter, Cleaner, Stronger" report provides a comprehensive new policy package that will stimulate the creation of new jobs - approximately 1.4 million more new jobs by 2025 - while lowering energy bills that will save U.S. consumers an astounding $170 billion per year. America would reduce her dependence on foreign oil by slashing its imported oil by 1.7 billion barrels per year. Annual GDP would increase by $123 billion in 2025. And, if the policies outlined in this package were adopted, the U.S. would cut in half the amount of greenhouse gases that would be emitted into the atmosphere under a "business as usual" approach.

"Producing 20 percent of our electricity with renewable energy by 2020 will create good jobs and save consumers money while reducing our growing dependence on energy imports from politically unstable regions around the world," said Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "It's time to switch from the polluting energy resources of the past to the advanced clean energy technologies of the future. The technologies we need are available today. All it takes is the political will."

The Smarter, Cleaner and Stronger report is a wake-up call to all policymakers that still believe that America's energy future and its future job base are dependent on cheap fossil fuels. "Our report suggests that there is a smart way and a not-so-smart way to approach energy policies," said co-author Andrew Hoerner. "With the right approach, the interests of working families and the environment come together. And with the right approach we can create more job security, more energy security and more national security. Smarter policies lead to a cleaner and stronger America."

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