Obama task force eyes green jobs to boost economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A White House task force charged with helping to revive the economy will focus on the creation of a comprehensive U.S. energy plan that will generate millions of clean energy jobs when its meets on Wednesday, the White House said.

The board, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, “will focus on the creation of clean energy jobs and what the administration can continue to do working with the private sector to spur an environment ... where those are created,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

“I don’t doubt that the meeting will also involve some discussion of larger economic issues. ... Part of the group is working on some tax reform proposals for toward the end of the year,” Gibbs said.

The first official quarterly meeting of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board follows President Barack Obama’s announcement on Tuesday of a proposal to increase auto fuel efficiency and to cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

“We have, over the course of decades, slowly built an economy that runs on oil. It has given us much of what we have, for good, but also for ill. It has transformed the way we live and work, but it’s also wreaked havoc on our climate,” Obama said at a White House event with auto industry executives.

Obama is expected to attend at least part of the advisory board meeting, Gibbs said.

The 16-member panel includes some former officials such as former Clinton administration economist Laura Tyson and William Donaldson, who was Securities and Exchange Commission chairman under President George W. Bush.

It also includes some private economists and business and labor representatives.

“The board will provide recommendations on how to enhance the strength and competitiveness of the nation’s economy through the creation of a comprehensive energy plan that will generate millions of clean energy jobs,” said an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Editing by Will Dunham