The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

The World Series of Renewable Energy

As thousands gathered in San Francisco to watch the Giants play Texas in the first game of the World Series, a coalition of local green groups gathered outside the stadium to remind crowds that California clean energy economy will face its own threat from Texas big oil in next week's election.

These groups took to the streets to talk with baseball fans about the dirty energy Propositions 23 and 26. Six large banners hung from nearby buildings shouted the message “Beat Texas (oil)! No on 23 & 26” in Giants’ orange and black. And hundreds of lucky game goers got rally towels bearing the same message to help cheer on the home team. The ballot initiatives, both of which received funding from Texas-based oil companies, would undermine the state’s landmark climate and clean energy law, AB 32.

An incredible group of partners mobilized to hit this day of clean energy action out of the park: 350.org, Greenpeace, RAN, Credo’s Stop Texas Oil, Vote Solar, Mainstreet Moms, Sierra Club, Courage Campaign, other representatives from the No on Prop 23 campaign along with neighboring businesses including: Q-cells, 1BOG and Wheelhouse Brokerage. That’s one serious show of support for our local team and our local green economy.

Prop 23: Puts Climate Change Action & Renewable Progress on Hold

By now most have heard of Prop 23, the oil-backed ballot measure that would suspend the state’s landmark greenhouse gas law – AB 32. As if that’s not bad enough, the Prop 23 does more than put the country’s model cap-and-trade program on hold for what the legislative analyst’s office says is likely to be many years. A number of California’s clean energy policies, including the 33% renewable portfolio standard and the low carbon fuel standard, are also wrapped into the Air Resources Board’s AB 32 authority. If Prop 23 passes, that whole suite of cornerstone policies is put at risk.

The response to the polluters’ attempt to block clean energy progress has been tremendous. The state’s five major newspapers plus 40 others have opposed the proposition. In recent weeks, total donations to the “No” campaign surged past the “Yes” contributions nearly three-to-one.  More than 1,000 business, labor, environmental, and public health and safety organizations have joined the coalition to stop Prop 23. The opposition has also earned a slew of high profile endorsements: President Obama, Governor Schwarzenegger, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, George Shultz, Robert Redford, Leonardo DiCaprio, Director James Cameron, the list goes on. It all adds up to some impressive momentum in these final days of the campaign.

Prop 26: Undermines Funding for Environmental & Public Health Regulation

Although it has received just a fraction of the attention of its Prop 23 compadre, Prop 26 (also backed by big oil, along with big alcohol & big tobacco) could be just as detrimental to green economic growth. California and its local governments rely on fees to fund most environmental and public health initiatives. A fee imposed on oil manufacturers is used to fund education, inspection and regulation of oil recycling programs, for example. There is a similar fee for businesses that produce hazardous waste. And the greenhouse gas law, AB 32, is another regulation that relies on polluter fees to fund implementation and enforcement.

Prop 26 seeks to redefine a number of these “fees” as “taxes.” That’s not just semantics. Fees can be passed by a simple majority vote, but taxes require two-thirds majority, a tall order for California’s decidedly log-jammed legislature. In the entirely likely case that the two-thirds vote can’t be reached, funding for these environmental programs would shift from polluters to the state’s general fund where they would compete with schools, prisons and other social services for taxpayer dollars. And since there already aren’t enough taxpayer dollars to go around, the programs could simply be cut in these times of tight budgets.

AB 32 and related clean energy policies have helped make California the leader in clean tech innovation and business growth that it is today. Just this month we received two timely reminders of the economic opportunity that’s at stake from an economic perspective.  The Solar Foundation released its national solar jobs census – California claimed the top position with 36,000 solar jobs, more than five times the number 2 state. A couple days later, a whopping 32 California cleantech companies made the Cleantech Global 100 list of up-and-comers likely to make big near-term market impacts – an auspicious number, to be sure, and one that far outstrips any other state or country. Start-ups like these drew 40% of global venture capital investment – nearly $3 billion – to California in the first half of this year.

These are just the latest data points to paint a picture of California clean-tech consistently out-performing other sectors of the state and national economy. But any solar developer, wind turbine manufacturer or efficiency retrofitter knows that it takes stable, predictable policy to drive this kind of new market growth. Suspending AB 32 and its associated regulations would effectively pull the rug out from under our clean energy economy.

Prop 23 would put the state’s successful green programs on hold, and Prop 26 would undermine their funding. Both propositions pose a major risk to California’s clean energy market, and by extension, the nation’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. Both put billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake. And neither are options that we can afford.

Go Giants. Let’s beat the Rangers. And then beat these dirty oil propositions.

RELATED ARTICLES

Green microphone podcast

Listen Up: Does Solar Increase the Value of my House?

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World I bet you don’t know that there is a home improvement investment that you can make that will increase the value of your house more than the investment cost. It’s not remodeling your bathroom (2 percent return). It’s not lan...
money pile

Deeper Capital Markets for Renewable Energy

Tomas Gardfors and Ann Vesely, Norton Rose Fulbright Following the global financial crisis, a more diversified funding market is developing in Europe. Institutional investors are helping to fill the funding gap left by the contraction in bank lending in the wake of the crisis...
Clean planet

Renewable Energy Responsible for First Ever Carbon Emissions Stabilization

Vince Font, Contributing Editor Carbon emissions in 2014 remained at the previous year’s levels of 32.3 billion metric tons — a milestone that points to the impact worldwide renewable energy investment is having in the face of a 1.5 percent annual increas...
IRENA Global Atlas Pocket

Finding Renewable Energy Opportunities: There's an App for That

Vince Font, Contributing Editor The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) just released a new smartphone app called the Global Atlas Pocket that can turn your smartphone or tablet into your very own personal renewable energy prospector —...
Rosalind manages media, member and donor relations for Vote Solar, a non-profit working to make solar energy a mainstream resource across the U.S. Prior to joining Vote Solar, Rosalind spent five years directing and implementing PR campaigns for a...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

SAP for Utilities

The SAP for Utilities conference is the most comprehensive SAP for Utili...

Training: Preparing for Rule 21 - SPI 2015

What: Rule 21 Training When: September 16th @ 4:30-5:30pm Wher...

COMPANY BLOGS

8 Bad Habits Of Communication

Effective communication is essential in building rapport and closing sal...

Powerpoint Or Stream Of Consciousness

Before you create a presentation, you have to ask yourself, “What ...

The Almost There Markets: Just Give ‘Em Some Time

Earlier this year, we reported on recent legalization of third party fin...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS