Mr. Van Jones Goes To Washington

van_jones_e_blastGreen job advocate Van Jones has been added to the Obama economic team and he says his new job entails “creating new policies going forward and trying to make sure as we design new policies that we build in smart ideas.”

According to Green For All, on March 16, Jones is to become Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). “His duties will include: helping to shape and implement job-generating climate policy; working to ensure equal protection and equal opportunity in the administration’s climate and energy proposals; and publicly advocating the administration’s environmental and energy agenda.”

The WSJ says “Obama has touted the job-creation potential of his clean-energy initiative. Now, the focus seems to be on making sure that the administration’s overall climate policy—including a cap-and-trade bill to curb greenhouse-gas emissions—will create more jobs than it endangers in Rust Belt states.”

Harvard University’s Robert Stavins says that job creation and a green agenda are non-compatible.  “Addressing the worst economic recession in generations calls for the most effective economic stimulus package that can be devised, not a stimulus package that is diminished in effectiveness through excessive bells and whistles meant to address a myriad of other (legitimate) social concerns. And, likewise, getting serious about global climate change will require the enactment and implementation of meaningful, dedicated climate policies, most likely a comprehensive national CO2 cap-and-trade system. These are two serious but different policy problems, and they call for two serious, carefully-crafted policy responses.”
Van Jones and Green For All (now to be headed by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins) have found success in the Oakland area with small-scale green job creation.  Now we shall see what ideas he can bring to fruition nationally.