California is being called a leader in clean-energy economic development — just as citizens wrestle with Proposition 23, a November ballot initiative that would suspend AB 32, the state law that requires greenhouse-gas emissions be trimmed to 1990 levels by 2020.
The clean-energy consultancy Cleantech said in a new report that “California has captured a larger than expected share of clean energy economic benefits because of clean energy policies like AB 32.” Proponents of Proposition 23 say the measure, which they call the “California Jobs Initiative,” will boost the economy; but Cleantech said “many companies have moved operations to California to take advantage of its clean energy policies and markets.” It cited four such companies: Kyocera Solar, Silver Spring Networks, Electric Vehicles International and Propel Fuels, which it called leaders in their respective industries.
In all, Cleantech said, since AB 32 became law in 2006, California clean technology companies have grabbed more venture capital — both by number of deals and total dollars raised — than companies in any other state, adding up to some 40 percent of the total money available, it said.
The group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) worked with Cleantech on the report. Ironically, while Proposition 23 attempts to roll back AB 32, E2 co-founder Bob Epstein said in the Cleantech press release that “more states are likely to pursue policies similar to California’s to try to claim some share of these clean energy benefits.”
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