Texas oil companies Tesoro and Valero are attempting to hamstring their clean energy competitors in California with a job-killing dirty energy initiative called Prop 23. CAP’s Rebecca Lefton and Jorge Madrid have the story.
New findings from Next 10, an independent, nonpartisan organization, document California’s global leadership in the clean-tech sector and the striking economic benefits of a low carbon economy.
In the first half of 2010, California attracted 40 percent of global clean-tech venture capital, totaling more than $11.6 billion in investment. The 2010 California Clean Energy Index also finds that California leads the nation in clean technology patents, including 39 percent of all solar energy patents, and 20 percent of all advanced battery technology patents.
The report concludes that “more businesses are opening in California than are closing or leaving.” And that “California’s economy has profited from reducing its dependence on carbon.” In fact, for every dollar of GDP generated in 2008, the state’s economy required 32 percent less carbon per-dollar than it did in 1990, saving California residents money and giving California businesses the competitive edge.
California residents are also enjoying the benefits of a low carbon economy with cheaper electricity and accelerated growth of clean-energy manufacturing jobs that is outpacing traditional manufacturing job creation. The study finds that “from 1995 to 2008, manufacturing employment in core clean economy expanded by 19 percent, while total manufacturing employment dropped 4 percent.” Part of the reason for this is that California manufacturers spend a smaller percentage of total operating costs on electricity, and that electricity productivity in manufacturing is outpacing the rest of the nation.
Finally, Californians “actually pay less overall for electricity due to our state’s energy efficiency standards.”
The Next 10 report underscores the economic benefits of clean-energy policies like California’s global warming law, known as AB 32, that have made the state a leader in the clean energy market.
“The impressive set of statistics presented in the latest Next 10 Green Innovation Index provides powerful empirical evidence of the potential and power of the clean energy economy for California,” said Jasmin Ansar, Ph.D. climate economist. “AB 32 has played a vital role in this clean energy boom by sending a signal to investors, inventors, and workers alike that California will become an even more fertile ground for green technology in the coming years.”
Clean Technology is a Job Multiplier; Prop 23 is a Job and Business Killer!
“By revenue, energy represents the largest industry in the world, ” said F. Noel Perry, founder of Next 10. “Energy technology is emerging as the next breakout technology revolution. And like information technology, ET is an emerging trillion-dollar market. California is on course to dominate this market.”
But California’s hold on the market will be weakened if the oil-funded Proposition 23, which would overturn AB 32, passes in November. The Next 10 study, along with an open letter from 118 economists, and numerous academic studies asserting that Prop 23 would destroy half a million jobs in California (many in construction and high-tech manufacturing) by 2020, is just one more study shining light on the power of the clean-energy economy for California.
“This report corroborates a consensus of many recent academic, industry, and government economic analyses by showing that robust economic growth can be maintained and even bolstered when clean energy policies are implemented,” said Ansar.
“Next 10’s report reinforces the point that clean tech is a bright spot in California’s otherwise depressed economy. Passing Prop 23 would put all of these news jobs and businesses in jeopardy. To maintain California’s leadership, we must vote No on Prop 23,” said Jeff Anderson, Executive Director of the Clean Economy Network.
Out-of-state oil companies don’t care about California!
It is clear that the supporters of Prop 23 are only looking out for their own dirty bottom line. They will continue to make bogus oil-driven claims about jobs and the economy to boost their profits, while inflicting major harm to the California’s thriving clean technology industry and clean energy jobs and businesses.
In the midst of a national recession, clean energy has continued to grow. California is on course to be a global leader in clean technology, but Prop 23 would kill this potential.
— Rebecca Lefton and Jorge Madrid
Here are five things you can do to win this fight:
- Visit the “No on 23″³ website, learn the facts & sign up: www.StopDirtyEnergyProp.com.
- Educate yourself on how California’s climate & energy laws have created companies & jobs: www.CABrightSpot.com.
- Tell your friends by email, on Facebook, at work, & everywhere else.
- Participate in the debate. Write letters to the editor and post comments on blogs & websites.
- Contribute (click here). The other side’s leader, right-wing California Assemblyman Dan Logue, has publicly said he expects the oil companies to spend $50 million.