Chairman Bingaman, Senator Domenici, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the invitation to discuss how investments in clean and efficient energy and environmental improvements to our nation’s infrastructure can create jobs and economic stimulus during this time of tremendous challenge for working families.
Today we urgently need immediate stimulus and near term recovery investments; yet we must also use our resources wisely, not only to get our economy moving but to get it moving in the right direction. A green recovery plan will create more jobs, and more good jobs at higher wages, and it will create new markets for American business while reducing the overall cost of addressing our climate and energy crises. This is smart public policy and good government, and I applaud your leadership in seeking this path forward for the nation.
I am Bracken Hendricks, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a non-partisan multi-issue think tank focused on developing innovative policies that build a more broadly shared prosperity. At CAPAF, we have come to believe, through deep research on the matter, that smart strategic investments in climate solutions can help to rebuild the underpinnings of our economy and create significant numbers of good jobs.
Built on the foundation of efficient and low-carbon energy sources, this transition can be a source of increased business opportunity and competitiveness, stronger communities, improved national security, and increased prosperity. We call this approach “the Energy Opportunity,” and we believe that it must be at the center of both America’s energy policy and our economic policy as we confront the interrelated challenges of a sagging economy, rising energy prices, and a growing climate crisis.
In this testimony, the Center for American Progress Action Fund offers some thoughts on: 1) the current economic downturn and the urgent need for an aggressive stimulus package that extends well into the coming year; 2) why clean energy should be a major centerpiece of any such recovery plan, possibly constituting from one quarter to one third of a larger stimulus package; and 3) priority measures that will not only create jobs and growth in the short term, but help rebuild the foundation of the U.S. economy over the long term on the platform of renewable and efficient low-carbon energy.