DENVER- Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado)answered viewer questions live on YOUR SHOW on July 12. Sen. Bennet also took some viewer questions with him that he didn't get to answer on the show.
Here are the questions and Sen. Bennet's responses:
QUESTION:During the past 50-years we have seen an exodus of millions of manufacturing and service rated jobs move overseas. Many of these jobs have gone to China and India. China, India and other countries will not require companies to uphold the same standards as in the United States and thereby they will gain an additional competitive edge. Do you believe China and India need an increased competitive edge?
-From Joe Rodriguez, Colorado Springs
Response- I think that Joe is talking about regulatory proposals currently pending in Congress that would cap emissions of certain harmful pollutants, namely carbon dioxide, into our atmosphere. Study after study shows us that a comprehensive Clean Energy Jobs bill will bring millions of clean energy jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs, to the United States. Colorado, with our plentiful wind and sun and our vast reserves of clean-burning natural gas, is poised to lead the nation in transitioning to this new clean energy economy.
A top national publication recently carried a story showing that both China and India have plans to install 20 gigawatts of solar energy by 2020. Indeed, the U.S. is falling behind China and India in this respect, and I think that story is not being told.
As President Obama recently said, "There's no longer a question about whether the jobs and the industries of the 21st century will be centered around clean, renewable energy. The only question is: Which country will create these jobs and these industries? And I want that answer to be the United States of America."
I share the President's hope that we can lead the world into the new energy economy and will work with my colleagues in the U.S. Senate to make that vision a reality.
QUESTION: Jobs, and more importantly, blue-collar jobs? Without them our economy will not come back! What will you do, Senator Bennet, to put many more blue-collar people back to work in good-paying, skilled, and long-term, meaningful jobs? The kind of jobs that will allow a family pay-off a 30-year mortgage?
--Mr. Michael F. Crowe, Aurora
Response- Colorado's middle class families cannot afford another ten years like the last ten. Over the past decade, the median family income declined by $300, the cost of education went up by 60 percent and health care costs increased by 80 percent. These are not nice-to-haves, they are essential to the American Dream.
Our economy is not going to get moving again if we don't start to focus on Main Street instead of Wall Street. If we focus on local communities - on Main Street - new jobs are going to be generated by small businesses all across Colorado. As a member of the Banking Committee, I am an advocate of ensuring that our local community banks remain strong and that small businesses have access to credit, which is critical for putting our economy back on track.
Colorado is ready to the lead the nation in new, good-paying manufacturing jobs - especially in new, clean-energy industries. With the investments we're making in the clean energy future, we'll put Coloradans back to work building wind turbines, solar panels, smart grids, and other new, clean energy technologies.
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