The Skywriter

Mayor of Braddock, Pa. to Congress: Be Bold!

23
Apr

Mayor of Braddock, Pa. to Congress: Be Bold!

This is a must-watch! At yesterday's hearing Mayor John Fetterman of Braddock, Pennsylvania, asked Congress on behalf of blue-collar workers across the country to be bold in capping pollution and investing in a clean energy economy:

Here's the last portion of his testimony, where he asks Congress to 'be bold':

So I respectfully ask this Congress to be bold. To overhaul our economy and free us from our addition to imported oil. I ask you to ignore the scare tactics of the well funded interests – and answer the call of Braddock to build a new energy future, and a New American Century, with the ready hands of America’s workers.

And I've pasted the entire thing from the Subcommittee's PDF after the jump:

Testimony of John Fetterman
Mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania
Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives
April 22, 2009

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Barton, members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today. I am John Fetterman. I’m proud to be the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania.

My testimony this afternoon will be short and straight to the point. I don’t pretend to be an expert in economics or energy policy – but I do know what I’ve seen with my own eyes: The path we are on has failed. In my part of Pennsylvania, we’ve lost a quarter of a million jobs in the steel industry in the last decade or so. Once thriving towns like Braddock are facing economic devastation. Communities, and families, face desperate times. We need change – and we need it now.

For decades we’ve watched jobs leave America. For decades we’ve heard about the danger of America’s oil addiction. For decades we’ve see real change blocked by those who profit from the status quo. If there is a silver lining in the current economic crisis – and from where I sit it is awfully hard to find one – it is that America may now finally be ready to find a new path…and to face the tough questions we’ve ignored for so long.

I believe that new path starts with cap on carbon pollution. By driving massive new private investment into clean energy industries, a cap offers us the chance to create jobs. And not just high tech positions making solar cells and exotic technology, but the kind of blue collar jobs that could revive towns like Braddock – or Akron or Detroit. Jobs making the 250 tons of steel or 8,000 parts it takes to build a wind turbine. Jobs making new windows, like they do in the old factory in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania – a factory that shut down until it was revived to make energy efficient windows. Or LED lights, like they make in North Carolina and export to China. Or one of the thousands of other products it will take to build this new energy economy.

The government investment in clean energy in the Recovery Act was a good start. But we will not truly transform this economy until we spur the private sector to action. This nation is full of entrepreneurs, investors, inventors – and Steelworkers – prepared to jump start a true energy revolution. And that will only happen once you pass a cap on carbon pollution. To win the most jobs, and the most economic opportunity, we must be a market leader in these new products and technologies - and a cap on carbon in the US will spur our companies to be early mover in these new markets, supplying solutions at home and then selling these solutions across the globe.

So I respectfully ask this Congress to be bold. To overhaul our economy and free us from our addition to imported oil. I ask you to ignore the scare tactics of the well funded interests – and answer the call of Braddock to build a new energy future, and a New American Century, with the ready hands of America’s workers.

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