Hoffa then announced the union’s withdrawal from the ANWR coalition, citing the need to build a green economy that fosters the development of alternative energy sources and creates good union jobs—instead of lining the pockets of big oil tycoons.
Hoffa also said that by investing in green energy solutions, the nation will reap the benefits of curbing its dependence on oil through a revitalized economy with the creation of millions of new jobs in a rapidly growing industry.
“Our economy is in shambles. Gas is climbing to $5 a gallon. The dollar has collapsed. Inflation is on the rise. Americans are seeing their paychecks shrink. Their family health care is being slashed,” Hoffa said. “Finding a long-term solution has a tremendous upside. It will be environmentally friendly and will serve as a much-needed boost to our sagging economy.”
Hoffa also thanked labor’s partners in the environmental movement, who are currently working to reduce emissions from port trucks. He urged the strengthening of the alliance, known as the Coalition for Clean & Safe Ports, to achieve a common goal: Good jobs and clean air.
“If we are to prosper as a nation, our future lies in a green economy,” he said. “But it’s up to us to help define the rules of that new green economy. A green economy means we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And it means creating good union jobs in America’s growing industries.”
The Sierra Club praised the Teamsters and Hoffa’s comments.
“The Sierra Club and the environmental movement applaud your announcement and look forward to building a powerful movement together—a movement that helps workers, protects the environment, prevents global warming and rebuilds our economy with good, green jobs,” said Greg Haegele, The Sierra Club’s Director of Conservation. “We are proud to stand here today, as allies and friends of the Teamsters.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.