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DATE: August 1, 2005
CONTACT: Jodi Levin: 510-444-3041 x 316

Plan could mean more jobs and financial savings for California residents;
puts California on right track for secure energy and economic future

Oakland, Calif.—The initiative described in the report of the Climate Action Team issued today, and AB 32, the parallel greenhouse gas emissions bill introduced by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and Assemblywoman Fran Pavley this morning, presents a tremendous economic opportunity for the state, according to Oakland-based Redefining Progress, the nation’s leading think-tank for smart economics.

The initiative would cap state emissions at 1990 levels by 2020; institute mandatory emissions reporting; and create an interagency task force to develop the plan that could achieve the cuts. It would reduce California’s dependence on foreign oil and imported electricity and improve energy efficiency. If properly implemented, it would also strengthen the economy and create jobs, the group found.

“It’s like overcoming any other addiction: it can unleash enormous resources to more productive use,” said Michel Gelobter, Executive Director of Redefining Progress of the impact of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the need for fossil fuels. “And securing our energy supply means we will no longer be at the mercy of foreign oil producers or domestic market manipulators.”

Jobs. A study by Redefining Progress found that, if properly implemented, the governor’s recommendations and/or AB 32 could create as many as 200,000 jobs in California—enough to lower the state unemployment rate by 15 percent. This is more than twice the estimate—based on only a partial implementation—produced by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA).

Savings. When fully implemented, these initiatives could provide the average California household with net savings greater than $750 per year, the equivalent of a 20 percent cut in the state income tax. Properly directed, these savings would be especially beneficial in assisting low- and moderate-income families, communities and small businesses overcome financial barriers to energy efficiency.

Leadership. The plan creates opportunities for California to benefit from one of the world’s largest growth markets. “Over the next 20 years, Pacific Rim nations are forecast to spend over $4 trillion on energy infrastructure—nearly three times California’s current annual gross state product,” said Redefining Progress Director of Research J. Andrew Hoerner. “By taking the lead on energy innovation, California positions its industries to sell to this vast emerging market.”

Redefining Progress experts available for comment:
Dr. Michel Gelobter, Executive Director, 510.551.9594
J. Andrew Hoerner, Director of Research, 510.507.4820