U.S. Labor Department officials met with House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa on Wednesday at the hearing, “Addressing Concerns about the Integrity of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Reporting.”
Issa, during an exchange over what is and what is not considered a ‘green job,’ speaks to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Acting Commissioner Josh Galvin and Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Jane Oates.
To give a little background, back in 2008 then presidential candidate Barack Obama promised to spend $150 billion over ten years to create over 5 million new ‘green-collar’ jobs. But what exactly is a ‘green job’?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines green jobs as one of two things:
- Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
- Jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.
The United Nations Environmental Programme defines a green job as:
We define green jobs as positions in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, installation, and maintenance, as well as scientific and technical, administrative, and service-related activities, that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality. Specifically, but not exclusively, this includes jobs that help to protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity; reduce energy, materials, and water consumption through high-efficiency and avoidance strategies; decarbonize the economy; and minimize or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution. But green jobs, as we argue below, also need to be good jobs that meet longstanding demands and goals of the labor movement, i.e., adequate wages, safe working conditions, and worker rights, including the right to organize labor unions.”
So Representative Issa decides to go into a little Q&A with Galvin about what is considered a green job. Here are a few jobs that (for the sake of emphasis): 1. produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, or 2. workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources:
- Floor Sweeper at a solar panel factory
- Driver of a hybrid public transportation bus
- College professor teaching environmental studies classes
- Any school bus driver
- Anyone who puts gas in a school bus
- Employee at a bicycle shop
- A clerk at a bicycle repair shop
- Antique dealer
- Salvation Army employee
- Employee of a store that sells rare manuscripts
- Employee of a consignment shop
- A full-time teenage employee at a used record shop
- Train car manufacturers
- Garbage men
- Ladies and gentlemen: your number one most incredible green job is…[Drum roll please]: Oil Lobbyist
Very little banter needs to be given on this issue. The floor sweeper job at a solar panel facility — I can go either way on. Without the facility there is no janitor position. But the rest? Sheesh. The guy who puts gas in a school bus? That may or may not have been some intricate joke made years ago by some sarcastic intern at the Bureau of Labor Statistics meant to be found much later.
Oil lobbyist? That is certainly a joke.
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Watch the exchange below (Via Daily Caller):