She’s back

Congresswoman+Jackie+Speier%E2%80%99s+speech+lasted+a+little+longer+than+10+minutes%2C+during+which+she+expressed+the+importance+of+supporting+troops+through+green+energy.+%28Robyn+Graham%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

She’s back

Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s speech lasted a little longer than 10 minutes, during which she expressed the importance of supporting troops through green energy. (Robyn Graham)

Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s speech lasted a little longer than 10 minutes, during which she expressed the importance of supporting troops through green energy. (Robyn Graham)

Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s speech lasted a little longer than 10 minutes, during which she expressed the importance of supporting troops through green energy. (Robyn Graham)

Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s speech lasted a little longer than 10 minutes, during which she expressed the importance of supporting troops through green energy. (Robyn Graham)

Advertisement

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Congresswoman Jackie Speier spoke at Skyline’s Veterans’ Earth Day to advocate for cleaner energy.

The April 22 event in the quad, in which veterans and representatives for cleaner energy assembled, was an effort to celebrate both the planet and those who protect the U.S.

Introduced by Skyline President Regina Stanback Stroud, Speier was the main speaker at the Veterans’ Earth Day event. Speier mostly talked about the importance of green energy and took time to thank all those in attendance, including veterans, students and a Tesla representative who brought electric vehicles to display in the quad.

The reason the event took place here at Skyline, and indeed one of the reasons Speier came back, is that Skyline is well on its way to becoming more active in the field of green technology.

“This institution already prepares people for careers in the solar industry and vehicle repair generally, and given today’s enthusiasm, I’m certain that . . . electric vehicle repair is on the horizon,” Speier said. “(A)nd we can do that right here at Skyline College.”

President of the Skyline Veterans Club Jarom Vahai said that during the welcome back week for veterans in February, the demand for greener technology was so high that it presented an opportunity for his veterans as well as Skyline as a campus.

“I’m bringing an electric car certificate program so students can be certified as electric-car technicians,” said Vahai, who had help from Tesla, Chevrolet and Nissan. “Just by having the veterans start it up, it’ll put the program here, and as the program grows and develops, other students from Skyline can take the course.”

Vahai set up the event and even at one point led the audience in a chant of “clean and green.”

The idea that Skyline could be a major contributor in providing alternative-energy services for the future was one shared by the president of the student body and the president of the school.

“Skyline College is really taking the leadership on the issues,” Stroud said. “As a matter of fact, it’s kind of creating a whole sustainable culture. And that includes how we think about it with regard (to) when we build our buildings, when we’re developing our curriculum, when we’re designing more personal development programs.”

Student Body President Ray Parenti-Kurttila thinks that it is up to us to see these ideas come to fruition.

“In terms of the students, if they create the demand, then their demands will be met,” said Parenti- Kurttila. “And in terms of the institution itself, I believe that in the future we will be creating more programs for hybrid cars and greener technology that will be the path of the future, so that’s definitely where I want to say that Skyline College is heading.”

One of the focal points of Speier’s speech as well as the event in its entirety was the use of cleaner-energy vehicles to provide both a better future and jobs for veterans who would build and repair said vehicles.

“The issue that we really need to discuss today . . . is what the future is really going to be all about,” Speier said. “And electrically powered vehicles look particularly good when you’re pumping gas at $4.59 a gallon, right?”

Speier stated the importance of this even now with our men and women overseas in vehicles that could be better and more efficient.

Another speaker in attendance that day who particularly agreed with this idea was Parenti-Kurttila, who felt that creating these kinds of jobs would be a win/win situation.

“I think both issues are very important, and certainly doing more to support our veterans is a responsibility of us,” Parenti-Kurttila said. “And I would say creating jobs for veterans in this green technology industry is a very exciting opportunity for them and also a great way to expand the industry.”

During her speech, Speier also talked about how tax payers help in the cause by providing funds for students to learn the tools of the trade but at the same time are being taking advantage of and need to go in a new direction.

“The truth is this: unless we end our dependence on oil, we will all be paying higher prices for gas,” Speier said. “Instead of declaring war on gas prices, we must declare war on oil. Instead of drilling, we should be innovating. Instead of spending a billion dollars a day to import foreign oil . . . we should make cars that don’t use a drop of fossil fuels.”

Toward the end of the event, Speier reminded the audience that this chance depends on the willingness of the people. This was a point shared by Stanback Stroud, who thinks that it’s up to us to be conscious of the ways in which we’re affecting the planet and to make sure that we use it in a way that doesn’t damage it for future generations.

“If the only thing you demand is lower gas prices, then you can bet that big oil and certain members of congress will give you the same solution they’ve been giving us for years,” Speier said. “And that solution is, ‘Drill, baby, drill.’ That’s the future they want; the question is, what’s the future that you want?”