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SACRAMENTO – With Californians celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this week, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) is quickly moving innovative bills through the Legislature to create jobs by spurring green building upgrades. The Speaker is also authoring legislation to allow companies to preserve marine life-supporting artificial reefs resting on the underwater portion of decommissioned oil rigs and to grow the state’s carpet recycling industry by keeping waste carpet out of landfills.

“Californians know moving toward a green economy can be a win-win when done right, and I’m proud to be carrying bills that are examples of such solutions,” Pérez said. “We’re moving to leverage federal HOMESTAR resources so skilled workers can find good jobs upgrading energy efficiencies so homeowners save money, we’re making sure the State Capitol does our share to protect the environment and cut energy costs through the Capitol Sustainability Task Force, and we’re advancing the rigs-to-reef program that helps spur marine life and generate desperately needed funds to protect and enhance our valuable coastal and ocean resources. And in my own district, carpet recycling has created hundreds of good-paying green jobs. But we can create even more of these green jobs if we boost our efforts to recycle and reuse waste carpets. As we focus on our key priorities of creating jobs, fixing the budget and reforming a broken system, being able to boost our environment at the same time is definitely a win-win.”

AB 2614 would direct the California Energy Commission (CEC) to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a program to facilitate the federal HOMESTAR program currently being considered in the U.S. Senate. The state program would involve numerous stakeholders to provide accountability and ensure that the projected energy savings are realized.

HOMESTAR is expected to provide for 50% rebates of up to $1500 for simple energy efficiency upgrades and 50% rebates of up to $3000 for more comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits. Additionally, HOMESTAR is expected to:

  • Create 168,000 jobs in skilled construction and manufacturing, two of the hardest hit sectors during the U.S. economic downturn
  • Save participating homeowners an average of between $200 - $500 per year in energy costs
  • Invest $6 billion in the form of consumer rebates to be matched by private investment
  • Help over three million American families to retrofit their houses to increase energy efficiency and save them as much as $9.5 billion in energy costs over 10 years
  • Remove the equivalent of 165,000 cars from the road or four 300 megawatt power plants form operation
  • Dedicate $200 million to provide access to low interest financing
  • Use a majority of manufactured goods made in the U.S., averaging well over 90 percent domestic production

AB 2670 would create the State Capitol Sustainability Task Force, whose duties would include:

  • Joining the California Climate Action Registry to determine, track, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Benchmarking and monitoring building operations, such as energy and water use
  • Improving waste diversion practices, such as material and electronic waste recycling, composting, and reusing materials
  • Investing in energy efficiency and water conservation technologies
  • Promoting environmentally preferable purchasing, such as green and recycled content products
  • Incorporating renewable energy, such as photovoltaic technology into our energy supply
  • Integrating sustainable practices such as double-sided copying, the use of low volatile organic compound paints, integrated pest management, and electronic distribution of certain documents
  • Partnering with utility companies, water districts, labor organizations, environmental groups, federal and local government, and private industry to develop green demonstration projects
  • Seeking a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or ENERGY STAR rating
  • Developing public education materials on sustainability for student groups and other visitors to the State Capitol
  • Finalizing the Capitol Park Master Plan

AB 2503 would establish the Rigs-to-Reefs program, allowing the underwater portion of decommissioned oil rigs to remain in place to continue serving as valuable fish habitat. AB 2503 would:

  • Continue the removal of oil platforms from the seascape
  • Protect ocean biodiversity, including threatened rock fish populations and millions of other sea creatures that live on these reefs
  • Allow a rig to be converted to a reef only if the Department of Fish and Game finds that the conversion will result in a net environmental benefit
  • Create the California Endowment for Marine Preservation, which would receive 45 percent of the cost savings from rig conversion instead of complete removal. These funds, which could amount to up to one billion dollars, could be spent by the Endowment only for ocean and marine protection projects and activities
  • Reduces air and water pollution threats associated with the full removal of these rigs – some in waters as deep as 1,200 feet – which involves significant industrial equipment from around the world

AB 2398 would create incentives for carpet manufacturers to implement a carpet product stewardship program to increase the recycling and reuse of waster carpets. AB 2398 would:

  • Require carpet manufacturers to prepare a carpet stewardship plan to show how they will take responsibility for collecting waste carpet instead of sending it to landfills
  • Set targets of 50% collection by 2014 and 70% by 2017
  • Prohibit manufacturers from selling carpet in California after 2012 unless they have prepared a plan to meet the targets

Website of Speaker John A. Pérez: www.asmdc.org/speaker

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408