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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 8, 2022

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Green Workers Alliance Praises Clean Energy Provisions of Reconciliation Bill, Opposes Fossil Fuel Concessions

“This bill is just a first step - and we will continue by taking the fight directly to utility companies to force them to use more renewable energy and help create millions of good, green jobs.”

Washington D.C. - In response to the Senate passing the climate and tax package now known as the Inflation Reduction Act, the Green Workers Alliance, an organization made of renewable energy workers, released the following statement:

The reconciliation bill which includes $260 billion in funding for renewable energy projects is a significant victory for people and the planet as we transition to an economy based on renewable energy. The bill is also a welcome boost for more than 400,000 renewable energy workers, many of whom have been laid off due to supply chain issues. The tax credits and other financial incentives will help kick-start renewables projects across the nation and put people back to work, and the labor provisions incentivizing prevailing wages and apprenticeships will help ensure these projects create good, middle-class jobs.

But while much of the bill is a noteworthy achievement given the current political landscape, we strongly oppose the provisions greenlighting more fossil fuel projects in protected natural lands and offshore and speeding up approval of pipeline projects. Continued investment in fossil fuel projects not only contributes to climate change, but also causes serious harm to local communities, especially people of color. We will continue to stand with front-line communities and fight for a renewable energy future, one that is free from the corruption and pollution of the fossil fuel industry.

The concessions in this bill are just another example of the long-running campaign by the fossil fuel industry and investor-owned utilities to continue pumping out fossil fuels, raking in huge profits while emitting harmful and deadly pollution at the expense of the people, the planet, and workers. Utilities emit 25 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. This bill is just a first step - and we will continue by taking the fight directly to utility companies to force them to use more renewable energy and help create millions of good, green jobs.

Together, renewable energy workers, front-line communities, and citizens everywhere can take on corporate power and win a just, green economy.


Green Workers Alliance is an organization made of renewable energy workers demanding more and better jobs in the field and a just transition off fossil fuels.

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Updated: Oct 20, 2022

By Trent Nylander

As a former wind tech and site manager I have seen first-hand the dangers faced day to day by the skilled technicians. With an industry short and in demand of trained professionals we have to deal with the fact that we are our best chance of survival when an accident does occur. As a technician we are provided and taught how to use our PPE and rescue equipment. Then told that we are our first line of rescue in the event of an emergency.

A major cause of deaths and accidents in the industry come from inexperienced sub-contractors. While skilled and trained in their jobs, they lack any types of rescue at heights or self-rescue training. With the shortage of trained and skilled wind technicians in the industry, most technicians put in 50-60 hours weekly. Many sites are understaffed and overworked to meet corporate profit expectations.

It is well known in the industry that OSHA has had no guidelines when it comes to working in the wind industry. Knowingly the fact that OSHA’s guidelines and protocols stop at the door, leave a lot of safety systems bypassed or in such ill repair. The wind industry isn’t a new industry, and many of the first generations of turbines have been pushed beyond their 20-year lifecycle. And yet we are continuing to climb these huge structures with our lives in our own hands, with no oversight from OSHA.

The fact that OSHA has not trained a single inspector on these 300 feet high power plants since their inception is astonishing to say the least. When an incident occurs in a turbine, we are our best chance for rescue. Emergency responders have to wait on us to reach the bottom of the tower, as they too are untrained in rescue at heights. As the industry continues to grow at a feverish pace, we need to ensure the safety of all these technicians in the field. OSHA needs to address these concerns and more to give the employee of this industry a safe and healthy workplace.

Trent Nylander is the Wind Turbine Program Coordinator at Centura College-Norfolk and a GWA member.

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On June 16-19, GWA joined over 4,000 other labor activists in Chicago at the largest Labor Notes conference to date. Dalia Bonilla, a solar worker from Texas and GWA spokesperson, said, “I've never been to anything like this in my life. I'm excited to take what I learn back to my solar family. After this, we are starting a job in Oklahoma with another temp agency so Lord knows we need this.” Dalia rode on a plane for the first time in 45 years to attend the conference!

While at Labor Notes, Dalia and organizer Nico Ries met up with three other GWA members at different workshops (and of course over pizza). When asked what was the most meaningful workshop, Dalia said, “ Definitely for me, the Organize the South workshop proved why we need to build unions, especially for us green workers because most of the big jobs are in Right-to-Work states, like my home in Texas."

Being able to build community with other building trades union activists and leadership especially around climate change issues and a just transition off of fossil fuels was very powerful and just what was needed to energize GWA leadership to double down on organizing in this sector. “I see GWA as crucial to the puzzle along with more traditional building trades unions to solve the issues around organizing the emerging and rapidly growing renewable energy field,” Nico said after a workshop on Solidarity along Supply Chains.

Several of our members who were unable to attend in person attended the main livestreamed sessions once they were off of work.

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