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State Job Creation Strategies for 2011

The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage. Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble. Many of those jobs will never return.

An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary. States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.

What States Gain and Lose Under Proposed US Senate Climate Change Bill

After years of states leading the fight to promote clean energy and reverse climate change and the House passing an energy bill last year, U.S. Senate leaders have finally introduced climate change legislation, the American Power Act (APA).  The bill is lengthy and complex with compromises that many leading environmental groups object to, although other groups have more positive evaluations of the bill as a flawed, but important step forward.

Bringing Integrity Back to Science: The US National Academy of Sciences Letter on Climate Change

Amidst a surge of questions on the veracity of climate change, 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, which since 1863 has advised the government on scientific and technological issues, have expressed their disturbance by these recent “political assaults” and have made it clear: “humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.”

Job Creation and State Fiscal Relief Resolutions Moving in the States

In the State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama stated, "...jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that's why I'm calling for a new jobs bill." With the fiscal crisis forcing states to layoff hundreds of thousands of teachers, nurses and police officers, the need for more federal job creation and state fiscal relief support is clear.  And there is substantial momentum building around this issue in the states.

Public Transit Best Vehicle for Economic Recovery

An overseen benefit of public transit is the creation and retention of sustainable jobs.  On January 5, 2010, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Smart Growth America, and U.S. PIRG released What We Learned from the Stimulus, a study that concluded that public transportation generates more jobs than highway construction, although highway construction received more American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds than public transit. 

Take Action: Additional Federal Job Creation and State Fiscal Relief Needed

With the new year, Progressive States Network is working with allies to launch a campaign to demand a new, federal job creation plan that includes fiscal relief to state and local governments in order to foster economic growth and create and maintain jobs. We are asking state legislators to sign onto a letter to promote this job creation plan, the full text of which can be seen at www.progressivestates.org/jobcreation. Legislators can sign the letter at www.progressivestates.org/jobcreation or by emailing jobcreation@progressivestates.org

Eye on the Right: Businesses Split over Climate Change

The debate over clean energy is ripping open divisions in conservative business lobbies.  Debate on federal climate change legislation has led an increasing number of businesses to leave the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and other business associations because of those organizations' stances against recognizing the scientific validity of climate change. The revolt has been growing ever since a senior Chamber official called for a "Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" to evaluate evidence of global warming.