Los Angeles – “Our effort to address climate change must not worsen our state’s economy, our severe unemployment, or continuing fiscal crisis,” Southern California leaders advise the California Air Resources Board on the eve of their issuance of proposed AB 32 regulations.
Former Governors Gray Davis, Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian joined the Southern California Leadership Council (SCLC) in writing a letter urging the California Air Resources Board to recognize the fragile economic conditions in California and carefully consider how to proceed with AB 32, California’s climate change initiative.
AB 32 sets a goal of reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, with an ultimate goal of an additional 80 percent reduction by 2050.
With the state’s unemployment at 12.4 percent, the third-highest in the nation, the SCLC cited business and job loss information — including locations in other states where more than 2,500 of the state’s employers have taken 109,000 California jobs. The national relocation map provided shows all the other states where these businesses have gone and underscores the potential impact of new AB 32 regulation, particularly for sectors like manufacturing and wholesale trade where the state is losing two jobs for every one job added.
SCLC has offered CARB specific recommendations to minimize the unemployment consequences, including price ceilings on carbon allowances, adequate supplies of offsets, and free allowances for “trade exposed” industries like manufacturing and wholesale trade.
Also recommended is a package of economic development incentives to attract and retain manufacturers whose research and development and products are focused on energy and water efficiencies, air quality and greenhouse gas reductions for advanced transportation, renewable energy and other clean technologies.
Recent announcements from California-based CEOs, including those from Intel and Cisco, indicate any new expansions — potentially with thousands of good paying jobs — would go “anywhere but California.” According to the SCLC, this reinforces what business relocation experts already know, that the business and regulatory climate in California is already the worst in the nation, and that California must turn around this private sector job loses to grow the economy, reduce unemployment and solve its fiscal crisis.
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation reports that, for each job California loses in the semiconductor industry , Californians lose more than $450,000 in wages annually. LAEDC also notes that could have generated about $71,000 in annual state and local tax revenues. Each job in the semiconductor industry pays an average of $70,000 annually including benefits and helps support 4.6 other jobs in the state
These kinds of manufacturing jobs are in the crosshairs of AB 32. We need to be growing jobs like Texas who has added more than three times as many jobs as we lost over the last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Leadership Council said that improving California’s quality of life starts by making wise regulatory decisions to lower unemployment, which in turn can produce the “California gold” necessary to fund the state’s green aspirations.
About Southern California Leadership Council
The Southern California Leadership Council is a business-led-and-sponsored public policy partnership for the Southern California region. The Council provides proactive leadership for a strong economy, a vital business environment and a better quality of life for everyone who lives here. Founded in 2005 as a voice for the region’s business community and like-minded individuals to focus and combine their efforts, the Leadership Council’s objective is to help enable public sector officials, policy makers and other civic leaders to address and solve public policy issues critical to the region’s economic vitality and quality of life. The Council is comprised of business and community leaders from throughout the seven counties of Southern California and four former California governors.
[Editors note: For media interviews with SCLC Executive Director Lee Harrington and for more information about the Southern California Leadership Council, please contact George McQuade, 818-340-5300 or 818-618-9229.
For more on the business relocations from California, statistics and map showing business flight visit: http://www.laedc.org/sclc/documents/Global_102510_CARB.pdf For more about SCLC or AB 32 Study visit: http://www.laedc.org/sclc ]