Second Term Agenda: Addressing Climate Change, Creating Green Jobs

President Obama's message was clear in his second inaugural address, and he reiterated it when Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu announced he will step down soon.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' surveys involving green jobs define them as either:

  • Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources
  • Jobs in which workers' duties involving making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources

Energy efficiency, recycling, stormwater management, biomass and other renewable energy sources, environmental compliance, education and training -- the list of green jobs is practically endless. Tens of thousands of them already exist in the United States. President Barack Obama also had made it clear that addressing climate change and becoming competitive in green jobs are priorities during his second term in office.

U.S. President Barack Obama"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," Obama said during his second inaugural address last month. "Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.

"The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. That's how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure -- our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared."

The president reiterated his point Feb. 1 in a statement responding to Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu's announcement he will step down from the post shortly. "I want to thank Secretary Chu for his dedicated service on behalf of the American people," it stated. "As a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, Steve brought to the Energy Department a unique understanding of both the urgent challenge presented by climate change and the tremendous opportunity that clean energy represents for our economy. And during his time as Secretary, Steve helped my Administration move America towards real energy independence. Over the past four years, we have doubled the use of renewable energy, dramatically reduced our dependence on foreign oil, and put our country on a path to win the global race for clean energy jobs. Thanks to Steve, we also expanded support for our brightest engineers and entrepreneurs as they pursue groundbreaking innovations that could transform our energy future. I am grateful that Steve agreed to join in my Cabinet and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors."

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editorial Director of, a website maintained by 1105 Media Inc.

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