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Biz Leaders: Prop 23 Could Stall Renewable Energy Investments

If California’s Proposition 23 passes this November, it could put at risk 500,000 clean tech jobs, 12,000 companies and billions of dollars of private investment in California, say business and investment leaders, according to a report from the Clean Economy Network (CEN).

The Nov. 2 ballot measure would delay the implementation of certain parts of Assembly Bill 32, the 2006 law requiring that the state reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, until the state’s 12.3 percent unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent for four consecutive calendar quarters, reports The Sacramento Bee.

The report, “Going Backward” (PDF), indicates that Prop 23 would halt efforts to increase electricity produced from renewable sources, curb energy efficiency standards for homes and office buildings and prevent cleaner tailpipe emissions. The report also finds that private equity and venture capital investors are wary about making investments due to the uncertainty created by Prop 23.

The report also shows that passage of Prop 23 would increase healthcare costs because of continued air pollution as well as raise electricity bills by up to a third over the next decade. It also has the potential to cause a roll back of energy and climate policies in other states and slow efforts to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation in the U.S. Congress, according to the report.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to introduce a watered-down energy bill today (July 26), which eliminates targets for carbon caps and mandates that would require utilities to generate some of their power from renewable energy.

CEN reports that more than 250 businesses and organizations across the state have signed a petition to oppose Prop 23.

Proposition 23 supporters, consisting of businesses and oil companies, say the measure is a temporary delay to protect struggling businesses from added costs of complying with the GHG emissions regulations until the economy recovers, according to the Sacramento Bee.

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4 thoughts on “Biz Leaders: Prop 23 Could Stall Renewable Energy Investments

  1. Hello? Is anyone home? I cant think of anything more ridiculous than Prop 23. Is Meg Whitman scratching for more ideas that might get her elected? Doesnt she have a clue? Promoting energy efficiency and renewables is creating jobs and lowering the costs of goods and services by lowering energy costs. The ROI is huge for California! Why on Earth would we roll back AB32? How stupid!

  2. Too many people look at this and only see one thing, “AB32 is reducing pollution”. Naturally, (like the comment before mine)people ask, who wouldn’t want to reduce pollution? But there really is more to it. To reduce pollution AB32 will put many small businesses (like my family’s potable water service) out of business by forcing us to spend VERY LARGE amounts of money to retrofit equipment to meet new standards. If the economy were booming, and we had money to spend, that might not be a big deal. But as most people know right now, money isn’t exactly pouring in. I’m all for reducing pollution, but not at the expense of killing people’s livelihood. Please look at this from all perspectives before you decide. This is not just about big oil and humongous company’s bottom lines. It’s about mom and pop family owned businesses also. Basically every business that relies on a big truck, (either directly, or for shipping and receiving) will feel the financial crush of AB32. And sadly allot will not survive. I hope someone will be coming around to offer a new green job to those newly unemployed should prop 23 be defeated. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  3. The California Jobs Initiative (CJI) is an oil corporation farce and fraud. There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is job growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employs 65,000 worldwide and CJI is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up jobs after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs and pump-handler jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil industry, increase air pollution, especially in communities around their oil refineries, and there will not be lower gas prices. Both Valero and Tesoro are super Enrons.

  4. Point #1: Simply stating that pollution reduction is good in the abstract, and/or that it’s OK to regulate someone else in the effort to slow global climate change, but that one’s own company should be exempt from sharing any cost or contributing to the required solution; is quite frankly unacceptable. Is your company a part of our society? Does it use Earth’s natural resources? Does it contribute to CO2 pollution? Then your company MUST accept it’s share of the burden, and it’s share of the responsibility.

    Point #2: The idea that there will be massive job loss from AB32 is a set of lies from the petroleum industry. The argument falsely assumes that some businesses will close because they can no longer compete – but if every business in a given sector is affected, then costs are simply raised for all. For example, will “every business that relies on a big truck, … feel the financial crush of AB32.”? Fine. The costs will be roughly equally passed on to consumers in the end by all businesses, and therefore the burden will be widely shared among most segments of society. Any one company stands just as good a chance of survival after AB32 as before.

    Point #3: And after all, why should I worry about saving the job of someone, if that job relies on the continuation of ‘business as usual’ CO2 polllution? It’s MY air, too. And my climate. And my future.

    In the end, we must all participate, we must all act in our collective best interests to avoid the worst of the global climate change threat. That includes sacrifices made by all of us. Though I would sympathize with those whose sacrifices are large and immediate, I am not convinced that anyone has made a valid case that they would suffer those disproportionate impacts. And that sympathy does not extend to any delays or derailments of the efforts to address the environmental risks that remain at the heart of the issue. I would say it’s fair to invest in various programs to ameliorate the impacts on those affected disproportionately, but I won’t agree to refusing to address the problems simply because some objections are raised.

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