Van Jones Resigns As Green Jobs Adviser

Van Jones resigned as Obama's Green Jobs Adviser over Labor Day weekend. Photo: Flickr/Civil Rights

When Van Jones stepped in as President Obama's special adviser for the green job industry in March 2009, one of his initial goals was to "shape and implement job-generating climate policy," according to Green For All.

But Jones' job description became skewed when reports linked him to efforts several years ago suggesting U.S. government involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he found himself in the midst of a huge controversy, according to The New York Times. After less than six months on the job, Jones resigned over Labor Day weekend.

Van Jones resigned as Obama's Green Jobs Adviser over Labor Day weekend. Photo: Flickr/Civil Rights

"We need to send hundreds of millions of dollars down to our public high schools, vocational colleges, and community colleges to begin training people in the green-collar work of the future," Van Jones told Grist in a March interview. Photo: Flickr/Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said in a statement on Sept. 6. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.

"I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past," he explained. "We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future."

The New York Times reports that several conservatives are now questioning Obama's judgment and policies, as Jones is the first environmental adviser to ever resign.

But Grist reports that Jones' resignation may actually be a step forward for progressives, as he is now a household name. According to The New Republic, before joining the White House Council on Environmental Quality, he was a public figure and a influential green jobs advocate, but he fell into the background in his official position.

Earlier this year, President Obama pledged to double the production of renewable energy over the next three years, create jobs in the development of new energy technologies and increase the energy efficiency of millions of American homes.

  • concerned

    You neglect to mention another reason people criticize him– aside from highlighting his conspiracy theories, he is/was (who knows?) a communist. He’s never officially come out against his former communist days, and I’ve seen video of him chanting things like redistribute the wealth. Yikes– this was the dude O. was surrounding himself with… ?!

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  • More concerned

    Yikes! Look at most of the dudes O is surrounding himself with! Most are avowed socialists and have ideas about “population control” and “media control” that are repugnant to the United States Constitution. Obama himself said during his campaign that if you wanted to know what he believed that you need to look at the people he’s surrounded himself with.

    I challenge you to do just that…

  • zizi

    Concerned/More concerned, you would be wise to worry less about a socialist takeover and focus on the problems that we face as a nation and as part of a global community. Just last night, on Nightline, Jack Hanna, famous animal expert spoke of all the wildlife and rare species of animals and plants that are in danger of extinction, in our lifetime, because of overpopulation of OUR species. We have continued to breed, to exploit and to deplete the planet of every resource, animal, mineral etc. We do not have enough resources on this fragile planet to feed millions who are dying of starvation while we decimate the rainforests and deplete the soil in order to feed precious grain to cattle; we ignore the UN report on Global Climate change that points to the raising of cattle as a greater cause of global warming than all the cars, busses and trucks on the planet. Get a grip!!!

  • QuoVadis

    I came to this site because I am interested in recycling & environmental issues. I do not want to support political propaganda. Van Jones flat out stated his belief that the US govt was behind the 9/11 attacks – he’s a total loon (which would explain why he’s a socialist). People are dying of starvation because of politics NOT because of overpopulation (and the UN’s own research arm shows that we are facing depopulation at this point & it is approaching irreversibility for several countries).

    The UN is an expert on corruption NOT climate change – our country’s most experienced climatologists have already stated that there is no proof that mankind is responsible for global warming & that current research indicates that CO2 levels FOLLOW temps rather than vice-versa PLUS evidence indicates we are following a normal natural cycle of warming that is now leading into a cooling period.

    Pollution IS a problem. Too much trash IS a problem. Toxic chemicals in our environment IS a problem. We’re not killing the planet so much as we’re killing ourselves. Focus on the real, known & proven problems and compost the political garbage – you will find a lot more people willing to work with you…

  • Stuart

    Redistribution of wealth policies are not always necessarily Communist, at least not in the sense of the Leninist-Stalinist approach. Jesus Christ, the exemplar of all Modern Christian religions, advocated a form of redistribution of the wealth through tithing which was originally largely a mandatory contribution imposed in a similar manner to annual taxation, not the voluntary form that exists today. They don’t necessitate an absolutely equal distribution of all materiel. In fact, modern taxation theory is basically designed to redistribute wealth where it is determined to be needed by each nation and locality. Redistribution of wealth may be a Socialist-style policy, but so is the very existence of any system of government. It’s called management or administration for a reason, the management of resources, situations, crises, and the mechanisms to apply them according to the will of the end-customer. Guess what, in a democracy or a republic the end-customer is the voter. What did the voters overwhelmingly support, not this vicious in-fighting between their own countrymen. This country needs to stop treating politics as a bloodsport and start treating politics as a real leadership and management tool. Politics is supposed to be civil and polite, not cut-throat. This is not dog-fighting, boxing, or even war; it’s supposed to be about working from the extremes toward consensus. The democrats, including President Obama, need to learn that a negotiator should NEVER enter any kind of talks, playing so nice as to be sickening in their sweetness. Yes, there is such a thing as acting too nice, not only because it’s so insipid, but also because, it’s downright disingenuous and plays into the hands of the opposition. The negotiators in any talk are supposed to start out like kids sitting on a see-saw, at first just doing their best not to get thrown off of the see-saw. If the negotiators give too much, too early, the result is always to get politically thrown off their game. Negotiations must always start from a position of strength. Being too nice fits the bill of behavior that is so kind it becomes cruel, mainly to the constituents who voted in the most recent election. I find this situation to be absolutely disgusting and nauseating and I don’t mean physically. President Obama doesn’t seem to realize that he is the one who mobilized the country to largely support the ideas he proposed. If he abandons them too easily and if his successors, colleagues, and subordinate officials feel that they have to remain consistent with such a precedent of leadership, then this country’s politics will always be lopsided in the end results.
    As far as Van Jones’ situation is concerned, “… Jones’ job description became skewed when reports linked him to efforts several years ago suggesting U.S. government involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks …” as stated in the article above. There is no actual indication that those reports were true. However, I, myself, would level the criticism at him that follows: How does resigning as point-man on these issues, actually support keeping all hands on deck. It’s the ‘captain’ abandoning his own post, because of what, vicious words attacking his character and credibility. The Democrats need to develop some backbone and stand up for themselves, instead of constantly retreating from danger. True heroes run toward the danger despite their own fear of it, when everyone else is fleeing. We need real heroes in our leadership positions, not people who care too much about how they appear, to stand and fight, not just run. Stop giving in to any hint of opposition and maybe, just maybe, the opposition might start to have a little more respect for you, Democratic officials. I’m not referring to anyone here, per se, just the predictable behavior of the leadership of the Democratic Party, even though I am a Republican, myself, and have never been a member of the Democratic Party. Their leadership needs to recognize that they keep falling for the same old dirty tricks, and not repeat the same insanity that occurred before. I thought that we were supposed to be headed in a real, new direction. It seems to me that, a great deal of lip service is being payed to positive change, while all that really happens in our government is that the names and faces change, the people keep listening to snow jobs. I mean you, “Rush Limbaugh”-style pundits! Everyone needs to stop focusing on the sensational and see the forest for the disappearing trees and non-renewable resources that are being depleted at an exorbitant rate! Quit being suckers for everything people say, without evaluating possible motivation.

    Also, I recommend that those here who want to know the truth, look for objective links about a little-known project called HAARP, versions of which are in use and being refined by all of the major world powers, as they vie for control. Also, do a little research and learn how to spot sensationalism and lies. It’s called Yellow Journalism for a reason because cowards use bullying tactics and distortion not facts. By the way, genuine facts speak for themselves. Facts don’t need to be spun to say what they have to say.