President-elect Barack Obama continues to signal his commitment to clean power and the green economy. This weekend Obama said he is working on an Economic Recovery Plan that will create 2.5 million more jobs by January 2011, including jobs in alternative energy industries like wind, solar and fuel-efficient cars. What wasn’t clear was how many green jobs will come out of those 2.5 million new jobs, which also included positions in rebuilding roads and bridges and the school systems, and Obama said his team is still working on the details.
But the speech was the latest from Obama suggesting he won’t immediately back away from his plans to implement policies to fight climate change amidst the sagging economy. Last week Obama told attendees at California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s climate summit that “[F]ew challenges facing America — and the world — are more urgent” than fighting climate change, and that his presidency “will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process.”
Everyone from Al Gore to Thomas Friedman to Van Jones is calling for investment in clean energy sectors to produce green jobs. But it remains to be seen whether or not Obama will try to meet his more aggressive campaign goal of creating 5 million new green collar jobs over the next decade by investing $150 billion into clean energy.