The Green New Deal has been a topic of discussion since the beginning of the last election cycle. While some portions of the proposed legislation have concerned some building trades members, these individuals are slowly turning around to the idea.
Texas is one of the last places in the U.S. where people would expect the Green New Deal to gain traction, however it is picking up steam. IBEW Local 520 Organizer Ryan Pollock explained how building trades leadership in Texas is recognizing the potential of the legislation and more on the AWF Union Podcast.
Promoting the Green New Deal in Texas
The Green New Deal and renewable energy took a hit in the Lone Star state following the unprecedented winter storm in early 2021. Politicians and special interest groups rushed to blame renewables for the loss of roughly 33 gigawatts of power, despite the face renewable energy sources in the state only produce 4 gigawatts of energy.
Pollock said those currently in power have made little progress on correcting what led to the failure and the lessons that came from the unfortunate situation.
Building trades union leadership in the state has warmed up to the idea of the Green New Deal, while the rank and file members remain largely against it. However, Pollock and others are working to change this. He noted workers are leaving the oil fields in search of work in the trades.
Texas House Bill 2221
With the announcement of the Tesla Gigafactory and other auto manufacturers potentially moving to the state, Texas politicians are moving to pass legislation to establish auto charging stations throughout the state in hopes of moving buyers towards electric vehicles.
Pollock believes all aspects of electric vehicle manufacturing is good for the area. First, It will lessen the pollution left behind by gas powered vehicles. Also, as manufacturers move to the area, more people will see the value of a career in the trades, as work will be abundant. Finally, it may raise wages and benefits and improve working conditions. The labor shortage in the area will force employers to pay more in order to attract tradesmen and tradeswomen to travel for work.