Guest Blog by Bob Keefe, Executive Director, E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs)
August 12, 2016
What have California’s climate policies done for the state’s economy? Injected about $48 billion into communities across the state in the past decade and helped create about 500,000 jobs. That’s the synopsis of a new analysis by my organization, the national, nonpartisan business group and Alliance Member E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), of available data on California’s Global Warming Solutions Act — also known as AB 32 — and related policies. Lawmakers in Sacramento are now debating legislation (under the aptly named SB 32) that would extend the emissions targets set by AB 32 for an additional 10 years past the current deadline of 2020.
It’s clear that AB 32 and related policies are already paying off big time for California’s economy. Today, the state is by far the nation’s leader in clean energy jobs and investments. No other state comes close. The state’s existing emission reduction goals and related programs have funded solar, wind and energy efficiency projects in communities from Shasta to San Diego, helping homeowners, schools, farms and businesses save money while also reducing pollution.
And importantly, California’s leadership on climate policies has given clean energy investors, companies and their employees badly needed clarity about where the state’s energy marketplace is headed, which is critical for business planning.
E2’s analysis shows that each and every one of the state’s 80 Assembly districts have benefitted from AB 32 and related policies over the past 10 years. You can see all of the data here. Some examples:
• Assembly District 56, which includes Coachella and is represented by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D), has received $4.5 billion in investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and transportation projects tied to the Global Warming Solutions Act that has helped create nearly 3,000 new local jobs.
• Assembly District 31, which is west of Fresno and represented by Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D), has received $1.2 billion in renewable energy, energy efficiency and transportation projects. This has helped create more than 2,300 jobs and reduced emissions by the equivalent of taking more than 92,500 cars off the road for one year.
• Assembly District 35, which includes San Luis Obispo and is represented by Assemblymember Katcho Achadjian (R), has received nearly $1.9 billion in renewable energy, energy efficiency and transportation projects. This has helped create more than 7,400 local jobs and reduced emissions by the equivalent of taking nearly 5,700 cars off the road for one year.
In a nutshell, the Golden State’s climate policies have been golden for its economy, in every corner of the state.
E2 is a member of the CA Business Alliance for a Clean Economy.