Wednesday, March 10, 2010

“Race for American Jobs: Clean Energy Leadership”

Contact: Michael Meehan, 202-280-6770 or

Angela Bonarrigo, 617-816-9102 or


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Clean energy and Fortune 500 executives arrived in Washington D.C. for the fifth and final leg of "Race for American Jobs: Clean Energy Leadership", a coast-to-coast virtual race to drive home the economic and job-creation benefits of national climate and energy legislation.

Sponsored by We Can Lead, the four-week campaign engaged business leaders across the country with events in Oregon, Colorado, Ohio and New Hampshire, before coming to Washington today. The 'race' baton, calling for swift passage of comprehensive climate legislation, was hand delivered to Congressional offices at briefings today on Capitol Hill.

The baton was signed by executives from Best Buy, Nike, Starbucks, Levi Strauss, Jones Lang LaSalle and Stonyfield, as well as clean energy companies, union leaders, investors and youth groups.

Comprehensive climate and energy policies such as those that passed in the House could create up to 1.9 million jobs nationally from 2010 to 2020, including up to 26,000 jobs in Oregon and 61,000 jobs in Ohio, according to a recent study by the University of California.

“The time to act is now," said Sarah Severn, director of stakeholder mobilization for Nike Inc., which hosted the first leg of the cross-country race Feb. 16 at its Oregon headquarters. "The U.S. needs legislation that gives clean energy entrepreneurs an even playing field to compete globally for innovation and job creation."

"It has become clear the energy landscape is going to change," said Eric Zimmer, president of Ohio-based Tipping Point Renewable Energy. "We face the decision of whether we are going to lead, or lag behind, in the global clean energy economy."

"The sooner we develop national climate policies, the better equipped we'll be to compete in the global race for clean energy and create new jobs here at home," said Jim Hanna, director of environmental impact at Starbucks.

“Stonyfield rejects the notion that climate and energy legislation is going to be costly,” said Gary Hirshberg, CEO of the Londonderry-based Stonyfield Farm. “Based on our experience, climate action offers economic opportunity rather than economic penalty. We either get into this now, with the right policies, or we’ll find ourselves sitting on the sidelines losing our economic competitiveness.”

If interested in interviewing participating business leaders of We Can Lead, please call Erin Grandstaff or Kati Rutherford at (202) 280-6770.

About We Can Lead

We Can Lead is a coalition of more than 150 business leaders - innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, manufacturers and energy providers -from 30 states across the country who support comprehensive, forward-looking energy and climate policies in the United States. Sound energy policies are our best hope towards reclaiming America's competitive mantle as leaders in this next wave of economic growth - while working on climate stability and energy security. Now is the time for action.

We Can Lead advocates for passage of comprehensive legislation that includes a price on carbon to spur American innovation, unleash U.S. investment, create millions of new jobs, restore America's competitiveness and provide for economic and national security.

We Can Lead is sponsored by the
Clean Economy Network, Inc. and Ceres' Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). For more on We Can Lead, visit


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