FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Bzymek
WASHINGTON, DC (MARCH 11, 2020) – Utility Workers Union of America President Jim Slevin today released the following statement in support of establishing U.S. carbon pricing. The position was announced today in a joint Washington Post op-ed with Slevin and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island).
“Today over 40 countries around the world have market systems in place to price carbon emissions. These are science-based policies that acknowledge the impact of carbon emissions and also provide a revenue source for navigating the economic, social, and human costs associated with changing America’s energy mix.
“Here, in a country built on abundant, inexpensive energy provided by hard-working miners, powerplant operators, transportation crews and so many others, putting a price on carbon offers the opportunity to empower our energy workforce and the families and communities that depend on energy production with the tools they need to plan and move through this inevitable transition. Without it, the threat of economic devastation as the economy changes rapidly and chaotically around these workers and communities continues.
“Powerplants and coal mines have long been a source of family and community supporting jobs but, bit-by-bit, that’s changing. Now is not the time to stand by and hope for reversals of fortune.
“For these reasons, our union is proud today to partner with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse in calling for the use of any future carbon pricing systems in the U.S. to lift up and empower these populations. In the months and years ahead, there is much work to be done to craft a national carbon price policy. Finding a way to honor impacted populations and envision their future is a mission we are proud – and determined – to undertake going forward.”
Chartered in 1945, the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO represents 50,000 active members employed in America’s utility sectors including the electric, gas, water, and related professional and service industries. James Slevin is UWUA’s National President. For more information visit https://uwua.net.