Congressman Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) were among those given Green Jobs Champion Awards from the BlueGreen Alliance last week.

The group made up of unions and environmental groups announced that the two politicians, along with BlueGreen Alliance Deputy Director Yvette Pena, were given the honor during the April 16-18 Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference in Washington, D.C.

“Without outspoken leaders who are confronting the costs of climate change and expanding the clean economy like Sen. Brown and Congressman Rush in Congress, we would not be where we are today,” said alliance Executive Director David Foster. “Their important work on vehicle fuel efficiency standards and protecting public health is having a tremendous impact well beyond their own constituencies.”

Brown was instrumental in raising the fuel economy standards for the nation’s automakers that will reduce oil dependency, the alliance said. And Rush, who sits on a U.S. House subcommittee, has drawn attention to the issues of climate change and renewable energy.

“We need more in Congress like Sen. Brown and Congressman Rush to lead the way in the fight to combat climate change,” Foster added. “After all, climate change is real, it is accelerated by human actions, and if we fail to pre-empt its frightening costs we will imperil our economic future.”