Granholm, actor Robert Downey Jr. boost clean energy jobs

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. clean energy / klin ˈɛn ər dʒi / (n.) – electricity, usually from sunlight, wind, or water movement, that is generated without producing harmful gases

    Several companies switched to clean energy to lessen the negative impact on the environment.

  2. corps / kɔr / (n.) – a group of people who are involved in a particular activity

    The government put together a corps of health volunteers.

  3. take on (something) / teɪk ɒn / (phrasal v.) – to accept a task, job, or responsibility

    I agreed to take on more tasks because I’ll go on vacation for a month.

  4. transmission / trænsˈmɪʃ ən / (n.) – the act of sending or distributing something from one person or place to another

    Regularly wash your hands to prevent the transmission of the virus.

  5. bipartisan / baɪˈpɑr tə zən / (adj.) – agreed on or supported by two political parties

    The bipartisan law will give citizens free medical care.


Read the text below.

The Energy Department is teaming with actor Robert Downey Jr. to recruit up to 1,000 new workers focused on climate change and clean energy.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm released a video with the “Iron Man” actor encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds to join the department’s “clean energy corps” and take on jobs aimed at accelerating deployment of clean energy such as wind and solar power.

Participants will help build thousands of miles of electric transmission lines to carry wind and solar power and take on other jobs to research, develop and deploy ways to produce energy while cutting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, Granholm said. The new job corps is part of $62 billion awarded to the Energy Department under the bipartisan infrastructure law signed last year by President Joe Biden.

In the animated video, Downey says viewers may know him from one of his “many day jobs” as a billionaire superhero in “Iron Man” or “world’s greatest detective,” Sherlock Holmes.

“But now I’ve got this sweet new office over the Department of Energy, and I’ve already been putting in some crazy hours helping out the Clean Energy Corps,” Downey says. “I’ve been working with some amazing people on fantastic new solutions” to climate change.

Granholm, who also appears in the video, tells Downey the Energy Department is “looking for folks to help us with pretty much everything,” from scientists to IT specialists, civil engineers, electrical engineers and more.

“My gosh, we mean everybody!” exclaims Downey, holding a coffee cup declaring him the “world’s best DOE intern.”

“So why not come work with us and help the planet while you are at it?” he adds, as Granholm extols the “nice” benefits, including a healthier Earth.

The video will be played on the Energy Department’s YouTube channel and featured on social media.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is encouraging applicants from diverse backgrounds to join the department’s “clean energy corps.” Why do you think it’s important for one industry to have people from different backgrounds? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, which industries will benefit from having people with diverse backgrounds (ex. education)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Why do you think government offices make their own YouTube channels and other social media pages nowadays? Discuss.
  • What government office do you think will benefit from having a social media page (ex. Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health)? Why? Discuss.