During the North America’s Building Trades Unions annual Legislative Conference, both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and NABTU President Sean McGarvey talked about their vision of a Green New Deal.
The vision of Pelosi and McGarvey differ from that of Green New Deal creators Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass), who, among other things, call for the elimination of all fossil fuels within a decade, the rebuilding of every structure in America to make them energy efficient, the elimination of cow flatulence, a guaranteed job for every American and universal single-payer healthcare.
On April 9, McGarvey made it clear building trades unions will not support many of the primary components of the proposed Green New Deal, including efforts to eliminate U.S. dependence on oil and coal and nuclear power, while seeking wind, solar and sea power as replacements.
During his keynote speech, McGarvey said killing energy construction projects means killing high-paying union construction jobs.
“This year they got distracted by a shiny new object, the Green New Deal,” he said. “What we need is a real deal that strengthens our economy, preferably by investing at least $1 trillion in infrastructure. …If we invested in energy efficiency alone – just retrofitting public schools and industrial buildings – it would create millions of jobs and would prioritize communities and promote the middle class.”
Instead of a New Green Deal, McGarvey called for a Real Deal to create good paying building trades jobs.
Pelosi stressed compromise and said labor needs to work with environmentalist to help each other achieve their goals.
“America’s middle class has a union label on it,” Pelosi said, adding she set a goal of “at least $1 trillion” in infrastructure spending.
“I think we should have a Green Ideal – rebuilding the infrastructure in the best way, she said.”
Pelosi later acknowledged the point of any such legislation should be “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.”