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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Income and jobs that won’t disappear

Our recovery needs to be green

DC passed the most ambitious clean energy law in the US. Now what ...Rhode Islanders are hungry and having trouble paying their bills. 180,000 workers have lost their jobs. 

We’re in a recession, and economists believe we’re on a path toward a depression.

The White House and Senate majority aren’t helping us like they should, and our state government is barely staying afloat. 

How many more Rhode Islanders will suffer and struggle before we find our way out of this economic downturn?

We have no doubt that we’ll recover from this, but we also know that we’ll come out of this in worse condition than when we went in because that’s how it works in Rhode Island. Our economy is fragile and blows to our economy only make it less strong.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The world is changing, and we can seize that change and use it to make our lives better.

Fossil fuels are crashing, and our economy, which is tied to fossil fuels, is falling with it. At the same time, clean energy is rising. There’s strength in clean energy, and by grabbing onto it, we can pull ourselves up, gain huge economic benefits, and start creating a stronger Rhode Island.

If Rhode Island builds a new, state-owned clean energy system, we can have an economic boom that will benefit every citizen in the Ocean State. 

We will see an expansion of living wage jobs and a $3 billion increase in state revenue – or more. And when the next economic downturn comes, we can weather it with jobs that won’t disappear and income for the state that won’t dry up.

We need energy, and we need people to keep that energy coming. Food, water, shelter, and energy are the foundations of our lives. As an energy producer, Rhode Island will have an economic engine that will be always running and always providing for our state.

The technology we need to build a new energy system is here. The money we need to fund a project is available too. With the oil market in free-fall, pension funds and investors will be overjoyed to have a safe and profitable place to put their money. 

The project can pay for itself with energy profits, and in a state with the motto “Hope,” we can surely find the will to make a project like this go forward.

We’ve been working on a blueprint for a 100% clean energy system in Rhode Island for almost a year, and as we’ve developed our plan, we’ve found more and more reasons to build it. 

With floods, fires, and storms getting worse, we need to stop climate change, and with the world economy crashing, again and again, we need a stronger economy here at home.

When Rhode Island reopens in the coming months, we’ll come barreling out with new funding, new projects, new partners, and a renewed desire to save ourselves from these nonstop calamities others are creating for us.

There’s a better way forward than the path we’re on, and we really can have a brighter future. We need new and better jobs for our workers. We need stability and security. Let’s hope, work hard, and make it happen.

Although Democrats hold the vast majority of the seats in the Rhode Island General Assembly, they do not vote like Democrats. Our Democrats are political conservatives. On core Democrat-Republican issues like a woman's right to choose, common sense gun reforms, and tax cuts for the rich, our Democrats consistently stand with the national Republicans. As the former Executive Director of the Rhode Island Republican Party put it, "We have a lot of Democrats who we know are Republican but run as a Democrat — basically, so they can win." This is the problem our organization was created to solve. At the state house, we advocate for progressive legislation. At the ballot box, we fight to elect strong progressive Democrats. So join us as we fix the Rhode Island Democratic Party!

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