Big oil showdown in California: Economists agree, dont block AB 32!

noprop23-02Here’s another in our ongoing series on Big Oil’s attempt to repeal California’s clean energy law (for background, see “Proposition 23 puts clean energy in danger.” Today’s blogger is CAPAF’s Rebecca Lefton.

Yesterday more than 100 economists with expertise in California energy and climate issues signed an open letter warning against delaying the implementation of clean energy policies.  The 118 economists support the policies created under Assembly Bill 32, or AB 32 that will “stimulate innovation and efficiency,” “help the state become a technological leader in the global marketplace,” “improve our energy security, create new business opportunities and more jobs,” and “provide immediate benefits to the health and welfare of residents by reducing local pollutants.”

AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act that was signed into law in 2006, is under threat from Proposition 23, a Big-Oil funded ballot initiative to repeal the law under the guise of a saving “jobs” (see Battle over California climate law pits polluters against clean energy economy).  But as the economists point out, Big Oil’s job-killing argument couldn’t be farther from the truth.

From the letter,

The current recession and the very high unemployment rate in California present daunting challenges. Some have argued that these economic conditions warrant suspending the implementation of emission reduction policies. We disagree. Delaying action now and waiting for the future before initiating accelerated action to reduce global warming gases will be more costly than initiating action now. Acting now is more likely to limit further environmental degradation, lower the cost of mitigation, and spur innovation in renewable energy and conservation technologies.

Furthermore, policies that reduce global warming pollution are likely to provide immediate benefits to the health and welfare of residents by reducing local pollutants. For these reasons we urge continued support for policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These policies can improve our energy security, create new business opportunities and more jobs, and provide incentives for innovation.

As CAP has written here, passage of Big Oil’s proposition 23 would actually damage California’s clean-energy economy and lower unemployment levels by crippling the emerging clean energy industries.  According to the California Employment Development Department, hundreds of thousands employees already work part- or full-time manufacturing, construction or other green jobs.  Big Oil’s proposition would risk wiping out these jobs and destroying billions of dollars of investment in clean technology and $9 billion in venture capital since 2005″”60 percent of all venture capital invested across the U.S. during that period””by effectively eliminating the same progressive clean energy policies that brought these jobs to the state in the first place as seen in the examples here.

It’s no surprise that clean energy jobs in California are growing 10 times faster than the statewide average. As the 2009 Pew Charitable Trusts study found, California has “the largest clean energy economy of the 50 states” precisely because of the state policies providing financial incentives for clean energy development and renewable energy and energy efficiency standards among others.

Let’s read between the lines.  Out-of-state oil refiners led by Texas based Tesoro and Valero are trying to axe legislation at the expense of a burgeoning clean-energy economy and of the environment to secure their own profits and keep us dependent on their dirty fuels. The economics speaks for itself.


14 Responses to Big oil showdown in California: Economists agree, dont block AB 32!

  1. Freddy Smith says:

    California is going broke just like Spain. The Chinese commie plans will ruin a great state. We can see the current unemployment rate and it is ugly. We can see the billions in deficit. It is also ugly.

  2. Green Patriot says:

    I beg to differ Freddy. The great state will be ruined by clueless people who think air and water pollution and the unsustainable consumption of our natural resources have absolutely no relationship with the state of our economy or public health. Where do you think all of the goods that we produce come from if not the earth? How do you think we’re going to solve California’s water shortage with the same business as usual policies? Have you ever inhaled smog?

    I’m more concerned about deficit of clean air, clean water, nutrient rich land, and natural resources that we are leaving future generations.

  3. Rueben Salerno says:

    Schneider realised that something drastic should be done. He has signed his own petitions, argued (quite wrongly) that climate change activists are in an unfair fight against big money interests (wrongly because climate activists receive hundreds of dollars in support for every one that their opponents get–Schneider’s own Stanford University received $100 million from Exxon to study the environment, something Schneider never discusses), and worrying about what might happen if the Republicans take over the House of Representatives this November.

    Looks like Exxon is not all talk. They donate big dollars. The wind turbine industry sponges money and doesn’t do environmental expenditure.

  4. Prokaryotes says:

    Exxon CEO whines about push to cut Big Oil’s subsidies, after making $6.3 billion last quarter

  5. Lamont says:

    Joe, the AMSU temperatures are setting all-time highs, and unless they really collapse, July should be an all-time monthly high temperature across the globe:

    ( couldn’t find any better place to submit this )

  6. Prokaryotes says:

    Reminder: What Is The True Cost Of Gas?

    About “10,00$”.

  7. Prokaryotes says:

    In a study covering 2002-2008, the Environmental Law Institute concluded that federal energy subsidies favored fossil fuels over renewables by a wide margin. Moreover, more than half the renewable subsidies went to corn-based ethanol.

  8. Prokaryotes says:

    Note to editor: Post about the open UCS letter want show up.

  9. Prokaryotes says:

    Meant to say: “won’t” – and without moderation notice.

  10. Erica Fontaine says:

    The electric cars are years away from being relevant. In the mean time, they need to be taxed because they do not pay highway tax at the fuel pump. They are ripping off the other drivers. It will have to stop. Freeloading off other industries is how electric will enter the market.

  11. Green Patriot says:

    Freeloading? Ha! That’s also a concept that the coal and oil companies know something about. You just gotta love those billions of dollars in subsidies we hand the oil companies. Plus I can’t wait to send my kids swimming in a pool of lovely coal ash that just got dumped in the river. We can’t expect the coal companies to pay to clean that up. Let them free load as long as they provide cheap energy. It’s the American way!

  12. Daniel Ives says:

    RE: #10 Erica

    Let’s look at other things electric cars don’t do.

    They don’t emit NOx, SOx, VOCs, or CO2 (from the tailpipe that is). How much do you think is spent by all levels of government and citizens on mitigating the effects of these pollutants?

    They don’t consume fuel produced overseas. How much money does the US spend each day securing our supplies of petroleum? And not just the cost of the crude itself, but also including the military costs associated with keeping supplies secure, the infrastructure costs, and the costs of making more enemies overseas?

    I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. The above problems are the legacy of gasoline vehicles. Do you still want to whine about EVs and highway tax?

  13. Leif says:

    Along with the good points of # 11 & 12, I must add that “light” electric cars are a whole lot less distractive to highways and road beds, saving maintenance money.