Hawkins Disputes Astorino on Jobs, Fracking

Hawkins Disputes Astorino on Jobs, Fracking

Hawkins Blasts Astorino for Endangering New Yorkers with Fracking;
Investment in Clean Energy is Best Job Creation Strategy

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, disagreed today with Republican contender Rob Astorino who said fracking of natural gas was a good way for New York to create jobs.

“Shame on Rob Astorino for endangering the future of generations of New Yorkers by advocating for an unsustainable and poisonous industrial process like hydrofracking.  We could create millions of New York construction jobs and more than 50,000 permanent jobs by investing in transitioning to a 100% clean renewable energy system by 2030. Fracking doesn’t lead to jobs, other than maybe cleaning up the mess left over, "stated Hawkins.

Hawkins has consistently opposed the type of trickle-down, corporate welfare approaches to job creation that Astorino articulated today and which Cuomo has pushed over the last four years.

A recent study in northeastern Ohio, where a fracking boom kicked off 2011, found there was no more jobs growth last year than there was in the state’s unfracked western and southern regions. That’s the conclusion of a new report published by Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. In shale-rich counties, employment grew by 1.4 percent between 2011 and 2012. In fracker-free counties, employment grew by 1.3 percent.

“We have a world-class study by Cornell and Stanford scientists, engineers, and economists showing that converting to 100% clean energy is technically and commercially feasible with solar, wind, smart-grid, energy-efficiency, energy storage, and other clean energy technologies that are commercially available now. It is a massive jobs program as well. It will take 4.5 million jobs in manufacturing and construction to build out the system in 15 years. The official number of unemployed today is about 750,000. People will be moving to New York to work these jobs. And the electric rates will fall, reducing a major deterrent to the location of manufacturing in New York State, which has the highest electric rates in the lower 48 states,” Hawkins said.

The study showed that more than 58,000 permanent jobs would be created in energy facilities under the plan.

Hawkins said that these investments in the public sector, clean energy, and back-up public jobs for the unemployed could be paid for by restoring the more progressive tax structure New York had in the 1970s. “95 percent of us would get a tax cut under that structure and we would still generate about 20 percent more revenue than today because income has become so concentrated in the top 1 percent,” Hawkins said.

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