Congressman John Garamendi (D-Calif. 3rd District) has a plan that he says will boost the economy and help secure the nation's shores: shipbuilding. Garamendi said the construction of more maritime vessels in America will put the U.S. ahead both economically and with national security.
"We need to have a domestic shipbuilding fleet, and we can do that by using the export of natural gas and oil and require that a small percentage of that export be on American-built ships," Garamendi told Cheddar.
The congressman acknowledges that investing in ships that will use and transport fossil fuels appears to run counter to climate change efforts, but said, "We know for a fact that we're going to be having an oil economy and a natural gas economy for some time into the future." He argued that in the time it takes for America to transition to more renewable energies his plan would not only offer homeland protection but also add jobs domestically.
"If we move to solve the climate crisis, we will create millions of new jobs in America, and if we couple that with shipbuilding and with infrastructure, this economy will boom in the years ahead," he added.
As the U.S. remains in economic crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic, stimulus talks in Congress have continued to stall, and more than 12 million people remain jobless, Garamendi said his plan would provide some relief.
"For every regard, this is a huge jobs program — some 2,000 mariners on those ships that would be exporting oil, as well as the shipyards, which will probably be several thousand jobs in the shipyards," he said.