Friday, January 23, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Obama at Wal-Mart to tout efficiency; angers labor

By
From page A2 | May 09, 2014 |

SAN JOSE (AP) — President Barack Obama is showcasing Wal-Mart, often a target of labor groups and other Democratic constituencies, to promote advances in energy efficiency in his broader campaign to confront climate change.

Obama on Friday was to announce commitments from more than 300 companies and local and state governments to use solar energy technology. He also was announcing executive actions aimed at increasing energy efficiency in buildings and appliances. The White House says the solar effort will power the equivalent of 130,000 homes and the administrative actions could reduce carbon pollution in an amount equal to taking 80 million cars off the road for one year.

The White House chose Wal-Mart because the company has committed to doubling the number of solar energy projects at its stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers.

But in choosing the giant retailer as the backdrop for his announcement, Obama triggered a backlash from labor unions and pay equity advocates who say Wal-Mart pays low wages and who archly noted that Obama has made pay equity a central issue of his presidency.

“What numbskull in the White House arranged this?” former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who served in the Bill Clinton administration, said in a posting on Facebook on Thursday.

“While he’s in California, I would hope President Obama would speak directly to Wal-Mart employees and hear from them about their daily struggles to pay the rent and put food on the table,” said Maria Elena Durazo, the executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

Wal-Mart says it pays wages that are competitive in the retail industry.

The clashing energy vs. jobs message is not new to the White House. Labor unions, for example, have pressed the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada into the U.S. because it would create jobs. Environmentalists oppose the pipeline, and the administration recently put off a decision on whether to approve it, likely until after the November congressional elections.

Obama was wrapping up a three-day trip mostly devoted to raising money for the Democratic Party.

Complicating things for the White House, Obama on Thursday attended a fundraiser hosted by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who sits on Wal-Mart’s board of directors.

In promoting the energy efficiency announcement ahead of Friday’s event, the White House said solar energy prices have dropped markedly in four years, with solar panels now costing about 60 percent less.

“All of this means more jobs in the industry, which is now supporting more than 140,000 good-paying American jobs and that are increasing at a rate of 20 percent per year,” said Dan Utech, a special assistant to Obama on energy and climate change.

The White House said Obama also would announce completion of energy efficiency standards for walk-in coolers and freezers typically used in grocery stores.

The rule on walk-in freezers was proposed last August under an agreement with attorneys general from 10 states and New York City. The states, along with House and Senate Democrats, have been urging Obama to move faster to implement proposed efficiency standards, including those for commercial walk-in coolers and freezers, which were due in 2012.

————

By Jim Kuhnhenn. Associated Press writer Matthew Daly in Washington contributed to this report. Follow Jim Kuhnhenn on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jkuhnhenn

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Dude, Be Nice to Ty Brown

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1

 
 
UC regents shelve policy tying coach bonuses to academics

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Resolutions you can keep, with help from local businesses

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Northeast preps as winter storm approaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Automakers to add electric charging stations

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

Legislators trade blame over drought bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
School board introduces new facilities director

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Innovation opportunities on the agenda

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Beekeeper’s feast benefits UC Davis honey research

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Community invited to Fenocchio memorial

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Abraham event focuses on justice

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Rebekahs’ crab feed benefits local families

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis Arts Center welcomes students’ work

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Brick sales will benefit Hattie Weber Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Have a heart for art?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

UCD plans ‘STEM-Tastic Sunday’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Artists offer a peek behind the scenes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Yolo County seeking grand jury candidates

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Spend ‘Better Days’ with Speck at ALS fundraiser

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

‘Mating market’ trumps biology in relationships

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Locals prepare for March for Real Climate Leadership

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Hardwater plays at Soup’s On

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Walkers head out three times weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Falling into old patterns

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Speak out on death with dignity

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Uncompromising opposition

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

On solar and nuclear power

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Bill poses hardship to businesses

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Buy pottery to help peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Compassionate policy needed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Too little parking causes a mess

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Aggie men suffer first league loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggie gymnasts enter Hornets Nest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Cycling shrine shifts gears in face of challenges

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

UCD’s Wade wins weekly tennis award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Guitar-vocal duo will perform at DCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘Inherent Vice': A very bad trip

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Toyota’s lowest-priced car gets spruced up

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Car Care: Tips to make the daily drive easier for commuters

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Obituaries

Virginia Carolyn Keith Crowell

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, January 23, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8