Mayor Bloomberg and Christine Quinn are on Charlie Rose tonight proposing the idea of a green initiative and retrofitting buildings as a way to reduce carbon emmissions and to create jobs in NYC.
Bill Clinton suggested this in 2007 as an answer to CONGESTION pricing, a poor excuse to tax drivers.
It's disgraceful that Michael Bloomberg is finally doing something about inefficient buildings in NYC and taking credit for it as though it was his idea. It's clear that he's doing this because he's running again.
Let's give credit where credit is due, Bill Clinton, a much more civic minded individual saw this years ago, and he suggested it to us NY'ers without any election on the horizon.
THIS should have been recommended prior to any suggestion of congestion pricing. Charlie Rose asks this question of "why wasn't this suggested during the congestion pricing discussion?" Mayor Mike dodged that question. Perhaps he was "saving" this suggestion for election time because he knew he'd rewrite the law to suit his run for a third term. This is not leadership.
June 15, 2007, 8:13 pm
Bill Clinton on Congestion Pricing
By Carolyn Ryan
Is there anyone at this point who hasn’t weighed in on Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s plan to impose weekday traffic fees in Manhattan?
Former President Bill Clinton mentioned Mr. Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal today during the annual luncheon of the National Partnership for Women and Families in Washington. Mr. Clinton did not explicitly endorse or criticize the plan, but he suggested that traffic fees would be “slightly regressive for lower-income working people that have no option but to drive.” He focused on the potential for creating jobs by making buildings more environmentally friendly.
An excerpt of Mr. Clinton’s remarks, from a transcript provided by the partnership:
If you just look at New York, where I work now, the mayor has proposed an ambitious plan for fixing the greenhouse-gas emission program in New York, even though we are already more than half as efficient as the average American, mostly because the people who live there are all packed together.
But in New York –- in America, about a third of our emissions come from transportation, a third from manufacturing and electricity generation, and a third from buildings of all kinds. In New York, where there is not much manufacturing anymore, it’s 20 percent from transportation and 80 percent from the buildings and the power needed to heat, cool and light them.
So all of the publicity, for those of you who come from New York, come from the mayor’s proposal for a congestion fee so that we have to pay if we go into Midtown Manhattan, another $8 a car a day. And there is a lot of concerns about it. It’s slightly regressive for lower-income working people that have no option but to drive. On the other hand, if you’ve ever waited an hour in New York City traffic, you pay $80 dollars just to be able to go another block or two.
But 80 percent of the problem is within buildings. Now you just think of how many jobs would be created. There are 950,000 buildings in the city. Let’s just assume 50,000 are maximally efficient, and 50,000 are unfixable. So you had — let’s suppose we said within the next three to four years, we’re going to green 850,000 buildings in that small piece of land. How many jobs would be created putting in all the lights, fixing the insulation, putting in new windows, greening all the roofs? How many manufacturing jobs would be created doing that? How many new small businesses could we create? And these jobs could not be easily outsourceable. You’ve got to be on the roof to green it; you can’t be in India.
As I said, this is not within the direct purview of what you are concerned about as an organization, but it relates to the success of the other policies. I think it is, if we created more jobs, I think we should also look at increasing the wages and the benefits of jobs which cannot be outsourced.
I think it would be a good thing if there were more unionization among public employee workers, hotel and restaurant workers, all the service jobs that cannot be outsourced. Many of us who access those jobs are above average income. I think about it every time I give a speech to a charity banquet in New York City. I think about how wealthy those of us are who are there participating in the charity, and I wonder how much money do people make who have to clean up after us after we leave and who serve and prepare the food while we’re there. So that’s a strategy that we ought to embrace.
And then we need to, finally, get back on this paid leave issue. I think there’s more support for it than ever before, and there’s lots of evidence that it increases productivity. Any time you can create an environment where people at work are not worried sick about their parents or their kids, they’re going to do better at work.
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