Thursday, September 17, 2015

Small Business California Support of AB 350

After long deliberation Small Business California has come out in support of AB 350.  See below our support letter.

                                                                                                                 July 30, 2015
The Honorable Kevin De Leon
President Pro Tempore
California State Senate
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA  95814

RE:  SB 350 (De Leon) Clean energy and pollution reduction act of 2015 – SUPPORT

Dear Senator De Leon:            

On behalf of Small Business California and its network of more than 5,000 employers who represent 3.6 million small businesses in this state, we are pleased to SUPPORT SB 350 that will set Golden State standards to spur innovation and investment in a sustainable California by setting the following goals for 2030:  Reduce petroleum use by 50%; increase utility power coming from renewable energy by 50%; and increase energy efficiency in existing buildings by 50%.

California small businesses have a major stake in seeing the successful development of sustainable transportation options and power production as well as policies that support affordably managing building operation costs.  Small Business California was a leading business organization that supported AB 32, the 2006 California legislation that has provided a successful mechanism for addressing emissions reductions that contribute to climate change, a serious threat to our overall economy. Moreover, SB-Cal’s pioneering advocacy at the CPUC, beginning in 2004, of supporting energy efficiency investments using On Bill Financing has further demonstrated why statewide investments in lowering energy costs through efficiency and renewable energy is a sustainable path forward.

California’s economy has seen a broad economic benefit created through investments in programs designed to lower petroleum use and increase renewable energy and energy efficiency. SB 535, passed in 2012, was designed to direct AB 32 cap and trade proceeds towards disadvantaged communities in California and helped to support residents and small businesses in these areas of the state where they would likely otherwise be left behind.

SB 350 will continue to grow California’s climate change leadership position by investing in policies that will improve overall productivity and support job creation. While heavily subsidized fossil fuel extraction industries will resist these changes and work to influence opposition to these policies, California will continue to prosper by investments directed towards supporting sustainable energy production, transportation and energy efficiency.


 
  • California’s GDP is nearly 30% higher than it was in 2006 ($2.2 trillion vs. $1.6 trillion), and our economy is now 28% less carbon intensive (per dollar of economic activity) than it was in 1990. Our GDP is growing while our emissions fall. California captured half ($5.7 billion) of clean tech global venture capital investment in 2014 – second only to the U.S. as a whole – helping to fuel the largest advanced energy industry in the U.S. at 430,000 workers and growing. California’s solar industry employed 55,000 people in 2014, more than the state’s five major utilities combined. Installation contractors, normally small business firms, make up the largest percentage of these workers with 31,470 employees. Solar companies expect to add nearly 10,000 more jobs in 2015.

 
  • SB 535, legislation passed 2012 designed to direct AB 32 cap and trade proceeds towards disadvantaged communities in California, helps to support residents and small businesses in these areas of the state where they would likely otherwise be left behind. These areas of California are usually where benefits from emissions reduction policies have an outsized impact. For instance, businesses providing energy efficiency and rooftop renewable power solutions in the hottest areas of the state, jobs that cannot be outsourced, reduce the peak usage of electricity statewide, reducing costs for all residents and businesses. Moreover, as the economies in these disadvantaged areas begin to align with economies in the rest of the state, costs for social safety net programs will be reduced, helping to lower the burden on California taxpayers.

 
  • California leads the nation in manufacturing employment, and output despite our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction policies. The state has added manufacturing jobs for three straight years. California leads the nation with $149.8 billion in annual manufacturing exports. Between 2009 and 2014, California’s manufacturing goods exports increased nearly 43%. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, California has twice the number of manufacturing companies as the next closest state, Texas, led by aerospace and advanced manufacturing.

Small Business California greatly appreciates your leadership in this policy area and we look forward to working with you and your staff to ensure passage of this very important legislation.  If you have any questions, please contact me directly at 415.680.2109 or email at shauge@smallbusinesscalifornia.org. Or, you may contact our legislative advocate in Sacramento, Lori Kammerer, Kammerer & Company, at 916.441.5674 or at LCK@midtown.net.
          
Sincerely,


Scott Hauge, President, Small Business California
  

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