Over the years of our country’s progress, we have realized dramatic technological achievements. But many of these achievements have come at the expense of our environment and health. Asbestos became widespread during the industrial revolution and assisted in technological advancements including electric appliances, fire retardant coatings, and drywall. It was also a major component in the construction of our ships. Years later we discovered it was a major cause of lung cancer and mesothelioma. Cars and trucks serve as the most prevalent and convenient means of travel, but the resulting emissions have had a major impact on climate change and the need for oil has contributed greatly to energy insecurity. Just as asbestos removal became a billion dollar industry that created jobs while improving the lives of millions, creating renewable energy sources and solutions will do the same.
I support passage of clean energy and climate-change laws that will reduce global warming and move America toward energy independence. These laws will also prompt the market to expand job opportunities in green technologies and manufacturing. The development of solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, biomass, and hydrogen technologies, have the potential not only to offset job losses that have been experienced in traditional industries, but will also provide long term and more dynamic job opportunities to current and succeeding generations of workers.
Given Hampton’s proximity to major national and international transportation centers, we are uniquely situated to provide manufacturers with access to markets, not only across the continent, but also around the world. In pursuing this once in a lifetime chance to position ourselves as a global industry leader, I pledge to support the expansion of the Governor’s Opportunity Fund. This will provide the needed incentives required to compete for green manufacturing businesses, which will result in needed jobs and economic development.