SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A coalition of businesses, organizations, public officials and other community leaders, similar to the group that formed to defeat Proposition 23 in 2010 which would have killed the state's clean energy and climate law (AB 32), has launched a new effort known as California Delivers. This collection of diverse voices is calling on state lawmakers and the Governor to prioritize protecting California's clean energy law (AB 32) from ongoing attacks and extending the benefits beyond 2020.
"The band is getting back together and we are singing the same tune – Californians want clean air and clean energy investments, and AB 32 is delivering on its promise. We need to keep the law on track and extend its benefits for years to come," said former Assembly Speaker and AB 32 joint author, Fabian Nunez.
"California's growing clean energy economy is critical to creating jobs, improving public health, and making our communities safer and more livable, and protecting consumers," said State Senator Fran Pavley and AB 32 joint author. "Of course, we always envisioned that the law would continue until the job was done. We need to be committed to extending the many benefits of AB 32 benefits well beyond 2020."
California Delivers is a coalition of businesses, workers, community and faith leaders, and advocates for public health, consumers, low-income families and the environment (see a full list of supporters here).The coalition is committed to defending standards that already are giving us cleaner air, healthier communities, a strong economy, less reliance on petroleum, and investment in the communities that need it most.
"The growing energy efficiency and renewable technologies sector is contributing to a healthier economy, thanks to our state's forward-thinking clean energy policies," said Jason Anderson, President of Cleantech San Diego. "AB 32 is stimulating investments in California and creating jobs, all while benefitting the environment."
"By tackling climate change, we're protecting our way of life – making our communities safer, cleaner and more livable," said Maria Teresa Santillan-Beas, Councilmember, City of Lynwood. "The commitments and investments we make today can keep the taps and traffic flowing, make our cities healthier for our children, and bring jobs to working class families."
"California's clean energy policies are helping consumers by jumpstarting more clean fuel options and lowering fuel bills in the long run," said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Policy Counsel for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. "Oil companies shouldn't stand in the way of this progress."
Starting this year, $832 million in proceeds paid by carbon-intensive industries will be invested in projects that further the goals of AB 32, including:
- $630 million for initiatives like improved bus and rail transit and expansion of electric vehicles;
- $110 million for energy efficiency and clean energy, including energy audits and efficiency retrofits for public buildings and agricultural energy and water conservation;
- $92 million for natural resources, including urban/community forestry, composting and recycling to divert waste from landfills, and watershed/wetland restoration;
- Under the law (SB 535), at least 25% of proceeds are directed to communities most impacted by air pollution. In 2014-2015, about 30% of resources will go to these disadvantaged communities.
Some of the benefits AB 32 already is delivering:
- Per capita emissions in California have decreased 12% from 2000-2012, even with an overall 11.4% increase in population. (Source: California Air Resources Board)
- Attracting more than $27 billion in venture capital and other types of investment into California clean-tech companies since 2006 (Source: Next 10's 2014 GII)
- California retailers sold 523 million fewer gallons of gasoline in 2012, compared to 2009, because consumers aren't filling up as often (Source: California Energy Almanac)
- Production of 15.4 percent of California's total electricity generation from renewable electricity (in 2012, Source: Next 10's 2014 GII)
- Californians are buying 40% of the nation's plug-in electric vehicles – reaching a milestone of more than 100,000 plug-in cars sold in California (in Sep. 2014, Source: PEVC) Electricity as a transportation fuel is already displacing 16 million gallons of gasoline per year (Source: CalETC)
- California is home to the nation's largest energy storage cluster – ranking fourth in the world in battery patent registrations (in 2014, Source: Next 10's 2014 GII and CalCharge)
- California's "core" clean economy jumped 20 percent to reach nearly 196,000 (from 2002-2012, Source: Next 10's 2014 GII)
"Oil companies have been relentlessly working to derail California's enormously popular clean air standards, threatening gas price 'Fauxmeggedon' come Jan. 1," said Martha Arguello, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles. "We fought them and won in 2010, and we'll defeat them again."
"California's climate policies are reducing carbon emissions, saving consumers at the pump, cutting oil use, and cleaning our air," said Adrienne Alvord, Director, California & Western States, Union of Concerned Scientists. "It's a clean energy and transportation future that works for all Californians. These policies are driven by scientific evidence and are a model for other states and countries to follow."
"Any delay in the program is a delay in cleaner air and improved health," said David Tom Cooke, MD, a lung surgeon in Sacramento and physician volunteer of the American Lung Association in California. "Too many of my patients surviving lung disease are being sickened by air pollution. We need AB 32 to keep saving lives now and into the future."
SOURCE California Delivers