Demand a New Green Economy

A post by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom: At this vital juncture in our country’s history, it’s clear that we must take climate change seriously. America is spending more than $200,000 per minute on foreign oil — $13 million per hour. More than $25 billion a year goes for Persian Gulf imports alone. Our dependence upon oil, especially foreign oil, affects not only our economy but our national security.
We must take real steps to end our reliance on foreign oil. At last night’s presidential debate, I was pleased to hear Senator Obama say that energy independence will be the number one priority of his administration.
We must follow words with action.
In San Francisco, we are establishing this new green economy while reducing our dependence on foreign oil, slashing the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the environment, and creating new green collar jobs.
Last week, I announced that applications for new solar installations in San Francisco have nearly quadrupled since the city’s groundbreaking solar rebate program, GoSolarSF launched in July. Ten workers have been hired to date and we expect the number to triple in the next month. With dedicated support from the next presidential administration this new green economy will take off.


Solar installation may be the most obvious component of green technology, but it is not the only sector. This new green economy also includes recycling, bicycle repair and landscaping.
San Francisco is creating and promoting green jobs, so we can ensure that the neighborhoods that were locked out of the pollution-based economy are locked in to the new green economy.
A clean energy economy will create millions of new green jobs that America desperately needs. Jobs that can’t be outsourced. Jobs that use the skills of today’s workers. Green jobs aren’t just the jobs of the future — they are the jobs of today.
Americans are ready for bold action. We can truly revitalize our economy with good green jobs, clean, renewable energy and a healthy climate. We must demand this new green economy. No more billion dollar tax breaks for the oil industry. No more drill baby drill. No more Persian Gulf oil imports. Energy independence is attainable in 10 years, but we must demand it from our leaders. We need to invest in America’s future — a green future. We need to invest in solar, wind, geothermal, wave and other green technologies. Our national security depends on it.
— Gavin Newsom
Ed Note: Politics may be politics, but it’s exciting to see some vision coming from a major city’s mayor – it’s pretty obvious to me, and most readers of this site that the green economy is our best hope toward recovering from the calamities of the last decade – that goes for a national as well as local level. I’d love to insert that we don’t just need to get off foreign oil, we need to get off ALL oil. Nonetheless, I’m excited to see the steps SF is taking. Is your city doing the same? Drop us a comment, or better yet, forward this to your mayor and see what sort of response we can get! – Nick

Gavin Newsom, 41, is the youngest San Francisco mayor in over a century. After only 36 days as mayor, Newsom gained worldwide attention when he directed city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This bold move set the tone for Newsom's first term. Under his energetic leadership, the economy grew and jobs were created. He brought universal health care to all of the city's uninsured residents. The city became a center for biotech and clean tech. And Newsom aggressively pursued local solutions to global climate change. In 2007, Newsom was re-elected with over 73% of the vote. Since then he has built upon the success of his first term, launching new environmental initiatives and a comprehensive strategy to transform the city's most troubled neighborhood into a life sciences, digital media, and clean tech center.