The Greenwash Brigade

Congress: Please save my Main St. job, not that fat cat’s Wall St. job

Dennis Markatos Sep 24, 2008

I got that call today.

The one no one wants to hear from their CEO — that it’s possible the company I work for will run out of money for my part-time position and have to let me go. But, unlike some investment bank officials who got a similar call, our solar energy company didn’t do anything wrong.

We are just prisoner to the waiting game that Congress keeps us in by not renewing the green energy tax credits that help our country deal with the energy crisis.

A recent study showed that 440,000 new people could join me as workers in the solar industry if the tax credits are renewed. And wind power is set to be the key emerging source of electricity for our country if renewal occurs. Yet for these past several months, Congress has failed to act.

The oil crisis that brought record gasoline and diesel prices to our pumps again this summer did not ignite Congress. The gasoline shortages that now cripple communities across the Southeast has not yet closed the deal.

And now many members of Congress are instead considering bailing out a financial industry that has acted recklessly and twisted rules to gain tremendous, unsustainable profits. After bankrupting our federal government by cutting taxes and fighting overstretched wars, the Bush Administration asks to borrow money from our children’s hard-earned living to help banks that were doing the equivalent of playing in the casinos with our life savings. No thanks.

I’m glad the Senate finally passed a renewal of the green energy tax credits this week. Will the House step up and do the same before they focus (even more) on getting elected? Or will they decide, rather, to concentrate their energy on giving big banks cash for trash?

Here’s hoping Congress prioritizes saving millions of green Main Street jobs so we can get our economy back on sound footing and our climate won’t self-destruct on us.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.