Contacts: Melinda Cheel, Executive Director, Green Chamber of Commerce, (415) 839-9280
Roxanna Smith, (323) 939-5015

Business Leaders Back LAO on Report Vital to State’s Economy

Sacramento – Business leaders today echoed the findings by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) that suspending AB32, the state’s landmark global warming law, would cost thousands of Californians their jobs and chill investment in the state’s fast-growing clean economy.

According to the LAO, the suspension of AB32 would “delay investments in energy technologies reaping longer-run savings, or dampen additional investments in clean energy technologies or in so-called ‘green jobs’ by private firms, thereby resulting in less economic activity than would otherwise be the case.”

“AB32 is the catalyst for billions of dollars of investment in California and the creation of thousands of jobs,” said Mike Mielke with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which represents more than 200 of the Silicon Valley’s most respected employers.  “California has more to gain from the green economy than any other state and risks a loss of more than $80 billion in Gross State Product and more than a half million jobs by 2020 if we fail to implement this law as scheduled.”

Mielke noted that economist Stephen Levy, Director of Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, recently concluded in a study that “it is likely that the first beneficiaries of green job growth will be workers who are currently unemployed.”

“AB32 will drive both green technology investments and energy efficiency that will make California businesses more competitive,” said Tom Bowman with Bowman Design Group, a small business in Long Beach. “California has always been the innovation leader and it would be folly to give that competitive leadership away.”

Bowman cited economic reports noting that California already boasts five of the nation’s top 10 cities for clean tech investment (San Jose, Berkeley, Pasadena, San Francisco and San Diego) and in 2008, U.S. California-based companies received approximately 40 percent of total U.S. clean tech venture investments resulting in thousands of jobs.

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The Green Chamber of Commerce, a Bay Area-based organization with members across the state, is dedicated to fostering the success of businesses committed to environmental and social responsibility.

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