Union organizer discusses support for Green New Deal-style provisions in Texas

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) local 520 organizer Ryan Pollock joined Hill.TV’s “Rising” on Tuesday to discuss how progressive legislation aimed at tackling climate change, such as the Green New Deal, could find support in some traditionally red areas including his home state of Texas.

Pollock told Hill.TV’s “Rising” on Tuesday that he has seen firsthand how Texas oil field workers have sought career changes through his union due to fears about oil jobs evaporating, a sign of energy companies shifting to alternative sources of fuel.

“Fossil fuel jobs are already going away. We’re seeing this in Texas right now; my union here had tons of oil field workers coming through my local looking for career changes because they know that these jobs aren’t coming back,” he said.

Pollock went on to point to working conditions in the green energy sector as well as the opportunity to build union representation in renewable energy companies as a major selling point that has led to workers seeking employment in the renewable fuel industry.

“Basically, showing [workers] that this is a whole new industry, and we’d be organizing it from the ground up in labor, particularly, and being able to shape it in our own image in terms of labor organizing and higher [working] conditions,” he said. “Right now, the green sector doesn’t have the conditions that the fossil…jobs have.”

“If we pass this up, and let the market dictate how things are going to be, then we’re going to get screwed,” he added.

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