Sierra Club

Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December, 18, 2008
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384

Obama Picks Major Green Jobs
Advocate to Head Labor Dept.
Sierra Club Congratulates Rep. Hilda Solis

Washington, D.C.—Media reports indicate that President-Elect Barack Obama has chosen Representative Hilda Solis of California to head the Department of Labor.  Rep. Solis has been a preeminent advocate for green jobs and environmental justice during her career in the House.  She has been major champion on environmental issues with a 2008 League of Conservation Voters score of 85 and a lifetime score of 97.

Representative Solis co-authored the Green Jobs Act, which later became part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which became law December 19, 2007.  The Green Jobs Act authorized $125 million for workforce training programs.  The training will be targeted to veterans, displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals in families under 200% of the federal poverty line.  It could benefit programs such as the one at the East Los Angeles Skills Center where workers are trained to install solar panels. Upon the signing, Congresswoman Solis stated: "The bill is a message for all workers across our nation that there is a place for them in the clean energy future."


Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

"The Sierra Club is overjoyed at the news of Hilda Solis' selection as Secretary of Labor.  She has been a tireless advocate for environmental issues, environmental justice, worker's rights, and green jobs. We send our deepest congratulations to Representative Solis. 

"Representative Solis was one of the earliest and most vocal supporters of green jobs in the House of Representatives.  We can think of no better person to help President-Elect Obama implement his plans for an economic recovery fueled by the creation of millions of new green jobs.  Hilda Solis also understands that green jobs must also be good jobs and has worked to make sure that the clean energy economy is one that lifts up all workers.  

"This latest pick underscores the strong commitment of the administration to action on clean energy, global warming, and a green economic recovery.  President-Elect Obama has assembled a team of unprecedented strength to advise him on energy, environmental, science, and climate issues.  This extraordinary team is poised to help the President-Elect implement his ambitious agenda to put America back to work by tackling the significant climate and energy challenges facing our country.

"One of our other top legislative priorities is passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.  We are very pleased that a strong supporter of this essential legislation has been tapped to head up the Deparment of Labor, yet another agency that has been gravely damaged during the past eight years.

"Hilda Solis has been a strong ally of the Sierra Club and we very much look forward to working with her in her new position."

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