MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the California Air Resources Board (CARB) hears public comment today on how to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues from the Golden State's clean energy law (AB 32), business leaders say state officials should grab the chance to widen California's lead in the global clean energy race.
"Invest these funds strategically, and not in a scattershot way," says Susan Frank, Director of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy. "I am glad to see the state is pursuing a comprehensive plan, and I urge policy makers to take full advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to use that plan to guide investments that will maximize the benefits for California's diverse businesses, workforce and communities."
The Department of Finance and CARB last week released a preliminary proposal for spending up to $600 million of revenues from sales of pollution permits.
The law says the revenues must be used to reduce greenhouse gases, while companion laws require that at least 25 percent of the proceeds be invested in projects that benefit disadvantaged communities. CARB's proposal set forth four general priorities for the spending: transportation and sustainable communities, planning and direct funding for sustainable infrastructure investments, energy-efficiency and clean energy, and natural resources.
In supporting these general categories, some of California's most prominent clean energy business leaders also called for a deliberate plan geared to getting the most for the money.
Dan Adler, Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund
"To make the most of this opportunity, and to be good stewards of these funds, calls for a thoughtful strategy that maximizes contributions from the private sector..." (For full quote, click here)
Ruben Guerra, Chairman and CEO, Latin Business Association
"I would hope that as the Legislature determines where this money will go, they'll think about what kinds of projects will create the most jobs..." (For full quote, click here)
Mike Mielke, VP for Environmental Programs & Policy, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
"AB 32 has helped attract $2.3 billion of private investment (in 2012) into California companies, creating jobs and advancing research and development of clean and efficient energy..." (For full quote, click here)
Leonard E. Robinson, Host of "Going Green with EnviroBro," featured on the California Black Chamber of Commerce's 97.5 FM KDEE
"Job training is a priority as far as I'm concerned..." (For full quote, click here)
Hank Ryan, Executive Director, Small Business California
"If the state invests auction proceeds wisely, then small businesses across California have the opportunity to particularly benefit from efficiency programs that can help companies save money..."(For full quote, click here)
Holly Smithson, President and Chief Operating Officer, CleanTECH San Diego
"State leaders have a terrific opportunity to support the continued development of our clean tech economy..." (For full quote, click here)
Following this week's public hearing, the Governor's Department of Finance will submit a final plan to state legislators as part of the May 2013 budget revise. They and Gov. Brown will make final spending decisions.
SOURCE California Business Alliance for a Green Economy