California’s AB 32 Called Economic Boon

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.

image via California Air Resources Board

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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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

  • Earl Richards

    The California Jobs Initiative (CJI) is an oil corporation farce and fraud. There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is job growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employs 65,000 worldwide and CJI is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up jobs after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs and pump-handler jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil industry, increase air pollution, especially in communities around their refineries and there will not be lower gas prices. Koch Industries, Valero and Tesoro are super Enrons. Since when did the oil companies start to show any concern for the unemployed and their families and for small businesses?