Why We Need Clean Energy Jobs Now

Guest post from Meredith, a coworker on the campaign who just received her J.D. in environmental law.

Watching live TV has become almost unbearable…after this summer I think most Californians consider DVR their best friend. Last night, I was forced to watch an ad every 5 minutes that is almost as misleading and infuriating as Meg Whitmans'.

Produced by the oil & gas lobby, aka the American Petroleum Institute, the ad consisted of a bunch of “average Americans” saying that that “energy taxes” would hurt their wallets because “energy companies provide jobs” and because “people are barely holding on.”

I had to ask myself: Where is this commercial coming from? If I didn’t know better I would think that there was a gas-tax law about to be signed by President Obama.

But no, its just that the oil lobby, like Meg, clearly has a whole lot of money to burn trying to convince people that the solution to our problems lies in the preservation of the status quo. This ad is just an example of the scare tactics and fact-contortions that conservatives and their lobbyists love so much. It is essentially an issue ad about a non-issue, and only serves to confuse people and scare them away from supporting clean energy.

In the coming months, we are going to hear more lies on television…from the Whitman campaign, and from supporters of Prop 23, telling us that taking action on climate change--by making California more energy efficient and powering the state with renewables--will somehow be bad for our economy and will kill jobs.

But here at the Brown campaign, we are confident that the opposite is true.

California has led the nation by adopting the Global Warming Solutions Act, or AB 32, and the Attorney General’s office has made huge gains in implementing the law. AB 32 poses an incredible opportunity for California to once again be a global innovator by developing a true “green” economy while simultaneously tackling the biggest crisis of our time. We need a forward thinking leader who understands that not only does our environment need clean energy, but our economy does as well.

Presently, America’s chosen economic health indicator is monthly home sales. Last week, the “fall in home sales” was the top news story. Rather than focusing on this, we should be focused (as Jerry Brown is) on retro-fitting our existing housing supply to build “zero energy” homes through efficiency and solar power, and re-designing our communities to reduce our dependence on cars (aka, oil).

Meg Whitman’s argument that she will magically create jobs with tax cuts is so tired she should auction her campaign magazine as a “vintage” economics guide on eBay. Jerry’s plan to create half a million jobs while simultaneously restoring California’s leadership role in energy innovation can be implemented immediately when he takes office in January, and is certain to create real, tangible, high paying jobs for Californians. . . unlike Meg’s re-branded Bushieconomics plan.

Last Friday, Jerry toured an ACCO Engineered Systems facility in City of Commerce that produces sheet metal for energy-efficient retrofitting, and attended an event with the California Conservation Corps, which he founded.

Jerry also recently visited the New Leaf biofuels facility in San Diego, demonstrating his commitment to finding energy solutions for California that are truly “beyond petroleum” and do not involve oil rigs off our coast.

Innovative companies like ACCO and New Leaf will be encouraged by a Brown administration, as they were during his last tenure when California led the world in renewable energy. Encouraging innovation certainly will not be accomplished via tax cuts for oil companies or other polluting industries (per Meg’s plan) or reversing our progress on AB 32 via Prop 23.

Jerry tours an HVAC material plant in Commerce, CA.


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