Perhaps as a last-ditch effort to help drum up support for the sinking presidential candidate, or maybe just to show it off before it became completely irrelevant, Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie unveiled a photograph last week showing him and Sen. Hillary Clinton meeting, shaking hands and evidently discussing the state of the Union while she was campaigning in Baltimore County.
Guthrie, a Democrat representing the Edgewood and Joppatowne area, passed the picture along to a small group of associates and, upon further inquiry, explained the photo opportunity came in mid-February when Sen. Clinton made a stop at the General Motors Allison Transmission Plant in White Marsh.
Dion, formerly known as ‘The Lone Democrat’ until a second Democrat, Mary Ann Lisanti, was elected to the Republican-dominated Harford County Council, might be best known for his role in Aberdeen native Cal Ripken Jr.’s final game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. As a refresher, here’s how The Daily Record summed it up in November 2001:
Dion Guthrie chauffeured Cal Ripken Jr. around Orioles Park at Camden Yards after the Iron Man’s final game last month. After the drive, Guthrie got Ripken to sign a ball from the 1983 World Series. Now Guthrie and the O’s are at odds over the ball.
At any rate, Guthrie is a down-to-earth guy who seems to have a knack for getting face time with the most important person in the room. So what did the two Democratic powerhouses discuss? Guthrie said they were “talking about my recent election WIN in the Primary as a Delegate to the Democrat Convention in Denver in August supporting Hillary.”
Does this help Hillary out any? Does it help Dion?
Here is the press release from the event, which curiously doesn’t mention Guthrie:
Hillary’s Plan to Create a Green Jobs Revolution: Creating New, High-Wage Jobs of the Future
Today, at the General Motors Allison Transmission Plant, in White Marsh, Maryland, Hillary outlined her Green Jobs plan, which will stimulate economic growth, end our dependence on foreign oil and provide good-paying jobs in Maryland and around the country. Hillary’s plan will transform the way we use energy, finally require large oil companies to pay their fair share towards renewable technologies, and create at least five million new jobs in the process.
Hillary’s Green Jobs Plan will:
- Modernize 20 Million Low-Income Homes to Improve Energy Efficiency. On average, energy bills account for about 14% of a low-income family’s gross income, and for many they account for 20% or more. By weatherizing homes, we can reduce heating bills by 31% and overall energy bills by $358 per year, savings that are significant for many families. Hillary will weatherize 20 million low-income homes over 8 years, including 380,000 in Maryland, creating 2,000 good jobs in the state that cannot be outsourced.
- Provide emergency energy assistance for Maryland families facing skyrocketing heating bills. One month ago, Hillary released a stimulus plan to help working families meet the rising home heating prices. Her plan would provide up to $650 in emergency energy assistance to 37 million eligible families, including 539,000 Maryland families.
- Invest $5 billion in accelerated energy efficiency and alternative energy investments to jumpstart green collar job growth. Senator Clinton believes that by immediately implementing components of her comprehensive plan to transition to a green, clean economy, we can both jumpstart green collar jobs and jumpstart our long-term transition to energy independence as well. That’s why she would provide $5 billion immediately for a crash weatherization program to cut home energy costs and expanded tax credits to encourage families and businesses to accelerate purchases of hybrids and other low emission vehicles and to reduce energy costs by purchasing efficient appliances, new windows and other clean, efficient technologies.
- Create a $50 Billion Strategic Energy Fund and Demand that Oil Companies Invest in Clean Energy. Hillary would give oil companies a choice: invest more in renewable energy technology or pay into a Strategic Energy Fund. The Strategic Energy Fund would also eliminate oil company tax breaks and make sure that oil companies pay their fair share in royalties when drilling on public lands. This fund would jumpstart a clean energy future by injecting $50 billion over ten years into research, development and deployment of renewable and alternative energy, such as hybrid transmissions like those manufactured at General Motor’s White Marsh facility, which is expected to bring as many as 240 jobs or more to Baltimore County. Consider that while Maryland families are struggling to afford increased energy costs and gas costs more than $3 a gallon:Exxon Mobil just reported the highest quarterly and annual profits ever for a U.S. company – earnings of $11.7 billion in profit in the final quarter of 2007 and $40.61 billion in all of 2007 [“Exxon shatters profit records,” 2/1/08, money.cnn.com]; andShell’s revenues increased 60% between the 4th quarter of 2006 and the 4th quarter of 2007; BP’s revenues increased by 53% over the same period [money.cnn.com].
- Raise Fuel Economy Standards. Hillary has proposed a plan to raise fuel economy standards to 40 mpg by 2020 and 55 mpg by 2030. Raising CAFÉ standards will help increase demand for hybrid transmissions and other automotive innovations that rely less on foreign oil. The vehicles manufactured at the White Marsh facility that Hillary is touring today are expected to get 50 percent higher fuel efficiency than their non-hybrid models. [GM.com]
- Help Automakers Retool Plants. Hillary would authorize $20 billion in low-interest “Green Vehicle Bonds” in order to provide immediate help to retool the oldest auto plants to meet her strong efficiency standards. She will also address retiree health legacy costs by providing a tax credit for qualifying private and public retiree health plans to offset a significant portion of catastrophic expenditures that exceed a certain threshold.
- Promote Plug-In Hybrids (PHEV). Hillary would invest in research and stimulate demand for the first commercial PHEVs by investing $2 billion in research and development to reduce the cost and increase the longevity and durability of batteries; offering consumers tax credits of up to $10,000 for purchasing a plug-in hybrid; and adding 100,000 PHEVs to the federal fleet by 2015. Plug-in hybrids represent the next generation of automotive technology, and Hillary wants to help make them cost effective for American automakers to produce.
- Create a Green Building Fund to Make Public Buildings More Energy Efficient. Hillary will dedicate $1 billion annually to states to enable them to make grants or low-interest loans to improve energy efficiency in public buildings, such as schools, police stations, firehouses and offices. Buildings account for 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions nationwide and present a tremendous opportunity for reducing emissions. This Green Building Fund will create 100,000 jobs, including at least 1,900 in Maryland.
- Train “Green Collar” Workers. We will need skilled workers to install the solar panels, build the hybrid transmissions, and seal the holes in our public buildings to make them more efficient. Hillary would create a “Green Collar” jobs training program to provide the people who most need work with the skills to do the energy work that most needs doing. The program would target at-risk youth, veterans, displaced workers, and would teach them skills to install and maintain energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. When combined with Hillary’s major investments in energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy technologies, this training program would create a pathway out of poverty for many Americans.
Hillary believes our climate crisis presents us with a significant opportunity. She is prepared to harness America’s entrepreneurial spirit and make the bold investments necessary to lead us to an energy independent future, of which green-collar jobs are the cornerstone.