American Prospect: In the Development of Offshore Wind, NY is Leading the Way
The Department of Energy estimates that East Coast offshore has the potential to provide about 35 percent of power needs for the entire country by 2050, but that will require supportive policies and a politics to match, writes Brittany Gibson in The American Prospect. In an article published this week, Gibson speaks with NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez, Climate Jobs National Resource Center President Mike Fishman, Cornell University's Lara Skinner and others to find out why "the boldest visions for offshore wind have come from New York state and New Jersey, where the political clout of unions has even inspired other states to retroactively add better prevailing-wage standards to their offshore wind projects."
“The main goal for us was to get an institutional framework to address the dual crises of income inequality with the creation of good jobs but also helping to address climate change, and we see the two as being interconnected,” says Vinny Alvarez, president of New York City’s Central Labor Council. “And [the objective] continues to be: create good jobs with labor standards along with ongoing effort to help assist with climate change.
“Sometimes it’s ensuring labor standards are in the legislation, sometimes it’s in RFPs [requests for proposal] that are going out for work, but it’s always ensuring that wherever the work is being done that the workers have a right to have a voice at work,” Alvarez adds. “We see much of this work [in green energy] going to non-union sectors, typically to low-wage jobs. And we want to make sure that we reverse that trend. We think it’s possible to do and we are just focused on that effort like a laser here in the city.”