State of State Praises Energy Economics

By Published On: January 20, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown renewed his commitment to making clean energy technology the centerpiece of California’s economic future in his state of the state address to a joint session of the Legislature Jan. 18. The state chief executive compared the state of the clean energy industry today to the early days of the information technology industry. “In the beginning of the computer industry, jobs were numbered in the thousands,” said Brown. “Now they are in the millions. The same thing will happen with green jobs.” He told lawmakers that with its high concentration of scientists and engineers in the clean energy and environmental technology field “California is positioned perfectly to reap the economic benefits that will inevitably flow.” Brown said state policies--like the 33 percent renewables portfolio standard and greenhouse gas reduction program--are attracting venture capital to California that are propelling it to leadership in the emerging green economy. “California is attracting billions of dollars in clean tech venture capital investments,” he said. “In 2011, almost 40 percent of such investments were made in California.” Republicans did not criticize Brown’s plans for clean energy, but did question his plan to raise taxes, as well as what they called excessive regulation of businesses. “The new taxes and regulations he proposed actually hurt the economy,” said Senate Republican leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar). Among the new energy standards that Brown highlighted are his plan to put in place 20,000 MW of renewable energy and to set new greenhouse gas standards for cars that are expected to make electric propulsion commonplace by the middle of the next decade. Vehicle standards are slated to come before the California Air Resources Board for adoption next week.

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