Speaking at a ceremony celebrating a new electric car company headquartered in Los Angeles, Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) said investments in the future must be made even in times of austerity. On Thursday, Brown, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and other top city officials celebrated the opening of the 100,000-square-foot global headquarters of electric carmaker CODA Automotive. The company this year has expanded from 75 to 225 employees, and will be offering a full-electric sedan that gets up to 150 miles per charge, on proprietary battery technology. CODA is also selling its batteries to electric utilities to help manage storage for renewable electricity, and will offer a home product to help maximize charging of their vehicles.
“A lot of people say California is a failed state,” Brown said. “Well, they’re wrong, and here’s another example of how California is on the move.” Brown also explained how government regulations, so often pilloried by the right, are what created the markets for this job-creating industry:
This is the state of innovation. It’s the place where things happen, from the gold rush, to those oil wells in . Lots of new stuff happens. Yes, we’ve got regulations. Some of these regulations are why car companies and the solar industry is expanding here in California. So you need some rules.
Watch Brown’s speech, recorded by ThinkProgress Green:
Brown praised the former Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for pushing clean energy. The state’s success doesn’t depend on one party, Brown said, but on “the creativity of the people that come to California.”
Brown cautioned that the state budget is going to be harsh, as he tries to rein in the state’s deficits, but that key investments in the future must be made. “In the midst of austerity, we also need dynamic innovation,” he said. “Even as we tuck in our belts, we’ll expand our imagination.”