Blue Collars, Green Ties

Necessity unites job-seeking unions, tree-hugging environmentalists
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2008 9:30 AM CDT
Blue Collars, Green Ties
"There's concrete to pour, there's rail to tie, there's major manufacturing and service industry for bringing people into the middle class," says one analyst of the need for 'green collar' jobs.   (AP Photo)

In Pennsylvania, the New Republic's Dayo Olopade finds an effort to unite working-class union types with the liberal elite that could long outlive Barack Obama's heyday: the search for green-collar jobs. Stelworkers have long viewed environmentalists skeptically, but both groups have a stake in finding a "new industrial policy based on the twin causes of sustainability and job creation."

Efforts to turn America green, both industrially and domestically, will require the hard-won expertise of workers whose aims have long been seen as at odds with tree-hugging Sierra Club types, Olopade writes, pointing to the Blue-Green Alliance, which ties the green group to the United Steelworkers. The infant effort, while promising, will surely face obstacles, Olopade concludes: "Just ask Barack Obama." (More green construction stories.)

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