Despite the fact that economic experts have long suggested that an increase in green jobs could help retool the economy, the political climate has made it difficult for the current administration to push the policies that its leader touted on the campaign trail.
However, in a press conference on December 2, President Barack Obama indicated that creating green jobs may soon become one of his top priorities in time for the 2012 campaign. There in Washington, D.C., Obama announced the Better Building Imitative, a federal program which relied on consultancy from former President Bill Clinton's Clinton Global Initiative America.
In total, the project will help provide $4 billion for eco-friendly upgrades to commercial and federal buildings through 2014. Only about half of these funds will come from federal funding and be used on government-owned properties. The remaining portion will be supplied by private companies looking to take advantage of the savings offered by eco-friendly products and services.
According to the president, this will help employ more than 100,000 individuals currently looking for or working green jobs in and around the construction industry. One example cited by Obama was a success story involving the Transwestern building from which he made the announcement. With the help of green upgrades, Obama said that Transwestern's CEO Larry Heard was able to save roughly $200,000 and create 250 jobs.
Speaking about the progress, Obama said, "It is a win for the business owners; it is a win for the tenants of this building; it is a win for the construction workers who are participating and for the property manager that's doing such a great job. So this is a great example of what's possible."
The commitment builds on a previous announcement made by Clinton's foundation in June, where the organization pledged to invest half a billion dollars into energy-efficient building projects.