February 12, 2019

Representative Levin Highlights Importance of a Just Transition to Renewable Energy Jobs for Fossil Fuel Workers During House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Hearing

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Click here for video of Representative Levin’s remarks from the hearing.

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) participated in a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing, where he highlighted the importance of supporting a just transition to renewable energy jobs for fossil fuel workers.

Representative Levin began by highlighting that “dealing with climate change in a bold and aggressive way is no fairy tale. Doing nothing and expecting this problem to take care of itself is the real fairy tale.”

He also noted the importance of accounting “for the way that [climate] change will affect communities across the nation, and ensure a just transition. Clean energy production is an incredible economic opportunity that should be shared by all, especially those that have been dependent on fossil fuel production. Further, we need to account for communities of color, rural communities, and others who haven’t historically been afforded equal economic opportunities.”

Representative Levin asked Mr. Brandon Dennison, Founder and CEO of the Coalfield Development Corporation, and Mr. Peter Hille, President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, about the importance of supporting fossil fuel workers’ transition to new jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Mr. Dennison highlighted the story of a former miner who transitioned to solar energy installation and said “the work ethic is phenomenal. Work ethic is not our problem. And because we can be adaptive and creative and we have that gumption and grit, I don’t think the current [fossil fuel] workforce has to be obsolete.”

Mr. Hille said “because of the technical nature of these jobs, there is a very fast adoption curve. There is also a lot of work in addition to the work in renewables in energy efficiency, and that can also be picked up very quickly.”

Representative Levin serves as a member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, the House Natural Resources Committee, as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Environment, Public Lands, and Water Task Force, and as a member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC). As a longtime clean energy and environmental advocate, one of Representative Levin’s top priorities is combatting climate change and protecting the environment.