Claiming that creating jobs to help curb global warming would result in a $60 billion net increase in California’s gross state product by 2020, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) hosted a “Green Job Growth” hearing in Silicon Valley August 14. “Each dollar invested in new solar generation would result in an additional 50 cents of economic activity in California, compared to producing the same power through conventional means,” said Barry Cinnamon, Akeena Solar chief executive officer. During this week’s hearing, he called for continued state subsidies until the green industry is “self-supporting.” His calls were echoed by witnesses outside the renewables industry. They urged governmental action and subsidies be dedicated to jumpstarting a lower carbon economy. Venture capitalist Bill Unger, partner with the Mayfield Fund, said governmental policies “can stimulate innovation, leading to new economic growth.” He added that private capital can’t do it alone. “Public investment in cleantech is crucial” to accelerate the pace of research and reassure private investors. Boxer also heard from advocates of using coal as a synthetic fuel to underscore “green” jobs. Evergreen Energy, a synfuel company based in Denver, Colorado, and its subsidiary C-Lock Technology, had officials tell the senator that synfuels are also an economic engine. Evergreen’s process “replicates nature,” stated Evergreen chief executive officer Kevin Collins. The company uses a chemical method to transform coal into “cleaner-burning fuel,” according to Collins.