Sacramento - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg today unveiled the Clean Energy Jobs Initiative, a plan to jump-start California's clean energy business sector and spur job creation in California. The initiative is comprised of four measures Steinberg and Pérez pledge to move to the Governor's desk as quickly as possible in order to remove bureaucratic red tape hampering construction of clean energy facilities and burnish California's position as a global leader in developing and sustaining the emerging market of clean technology.
"While we grapple with the state's immediate fiscal crisis, we also need to take concrete steps to stimulate California's economy, create more jobs for Californians and prepare today's students for tomorrow's high-demand careers," said Steinberg. "This initiative also moves us forward as an even stronger partner with President Obama's national agenda to invest in America's clean energy research and technology sectors."
"I believe this is a strong package that will help California immeasurably," said Speaker John A. Pérez. "Green manufacturing has the potential to create millions of jobs in the coming decades. Those jobs are going to be created somewhere and they must be created here in California. This package will help create those jobs and secure California's place as the global leader in building a sustainable economy."
The Clean Energy Jobs Initiative for California is comprised of four measures:
- 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard (Sen. Joe Simitian): This measure requires both public and private energy providers to procure 33 percent of California's electricity from renewable resources (wind, solar, geothermal, etc.) by 2020.
- Streamlined Siting for Renewable Energy Projects (Assembly Member V. Manuel Pérez): This measure reduces red tape, expediting the siting and construction of renewable energy projects throughout California.
- Career Technical Education (Senator Darrell Steinberg): This measure aligns high school curriculum with high-demand jobs in emerging markets. Grant funding would be provided to high schools for delivering the skills and knowledge students need for successful employment in clean energy field. Such curriculum restructuring will also encourage students to stay in school because they'll know they're gaining real-world skills from their studies.
- Economic Incentives to Increase Energy Efficiency (Assembly Member Nancy Skinner): This bill would use a portion of state ratepayer funds to provide loan guarantees for residents and small business owners investing in energy efficiency and renewable technologies on homes and commercial property. Reducing loan risk also reduces loan interest rates, increasing demand for energy improvements which in turn increases production and the jobs that come with it.
The state Economic Development Department indicates California already has more than 500,000 clean tech/clean energy jobs. The Wall Street Journal reports California also is home to seven of the nation's Top Ten Clean Tech companies. In addition, California holds a substantial lead over its nearest state competitors in national rankings of clean energy leadership and performance, according to clean energy economic researchers.
Over the last five years, more than $9 billion in venture capital has flowed into California to fuel the clean energy marketplace, creating new businesses and thousands of new jobs. Some estimate an additional 700,000 jobs could be created in this sector over the next nine years if these private investments are combined with sound policy improvements.
In his State of the Union address, the President announced his budget will include substantial investments in clean energy research and technology, as well as setting a "man on the moon" goal of generating 80 percent of America's electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. Starting this week, California begins doing its part to help the country meet the President's goal.
In addition to the four measures announced today, Steinberg and Pérez anticipate the Legislature will consider numerous other policy proposals this year designed to expand California's clean economy.
Contacts: (Steinberg) Mark Hedlund (916) 651-4188 and or (Pérez) Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408