Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oil Spill Signal: More Investment in Green Technology

Gulf of Mexico oil spill signals need for more investment in green technology, activists say

Michael DeMocker, The Times-Picayune MICHAEL DeMOCKER / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE: An oil slick covers moves away from the scene as fireboats try to extinguish the blaze on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig south of Venice after an explosion left at least 15 workers injured and 11 missing on Wednesday, April 21, 2010.

February 08, 2011 - The most common refrain coming from Louisiana's political representatives in Washington is that overreaction to the Deepwater Horizon disaster has stifled an otherwise worthy and indispensable industry in the Gulf.

But that was decidedly not the message delivered Tuesday at the opening day of a three-day Green Jobs conference sponsored by a "Blue Green Alliance" of labor unions and environmentalists -- led by the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club -- who see the disaster as a clarion call for greater investments in green technology.

"Why did we put all our eggs in the oil and gas industry basket? Why haven't we diversified our economy?" asked Jordan Macha, whose title -- Gulf Coast Beyond Oil Regional Representative for the Sierra Club -- encapsulates her uphill mission.

"Why can't the Gulf Coast lead the nation in turning to green industry?" asked Macha, who in another statement of what amounts to ideological apostasy in Louisiana political circles, said the oil industry's safety record might improve if a larger percentage of its workers were unionized. {continued}

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