Environmentalists, workers seek common ground

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Associated Press

Posted on October 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 20 at 11:36 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The nation's largest labor unions want to help fight global warming, but they say workers need new clean-energy jobs before existing industries are shut down.

The Power Shift conference in Pittsburgh is training young people to stop coal mining, fracking for oil and gas, and nuclear power, but organizers also want workers to join the battle against climate change.

United Steel Workers president Leo Gerard says global warming is here, and activists and labor can work together to find solutions.

But AFL/CIO representative Tahir Duckett says it's simplistic for environmentalists to talk about banning oil and gas fracking before there are alternative jobs for workers.

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune says the goal is to simultaneously decrease fossil fuel pollution and increase clean energy, while protecting workers.

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