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Climate Change Legislation: Innovative Or Job Killing?

Sacramento, CA – There is a debate between Republicans and Democrats in Sacramento over new climate change legislation.

Notably, SB 350 calls for 50-percent reduction in petroleum use by cars and trucks, 50-percent greater energy efficiency in buildings, and 50-percent of California’s electricity supply to be derived from renewable sources. It must all be accomplished by 2030. The details of the mandate would be finalized and carried out in the years ahead. It was approved yesterday in the Senate and now moves to the Assembly. Senate Democratic leader Kevin De Leon claims it would stimulate employment by creating renewable energy jobs. He says, “Those jobs are real. Those jobs are tangible.”

However, the California Chamber of Commerce feels the proposed legislation would result in higher costs to do business in the state, and dubs it a “jobs killer.”

Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff says, “Why do we in California want to take on a very noble goal of balancing greenhouse gases, but those gases don’t end at California’s border? When we stop burning coal for fuel, it doesn’t stop Arizona or other states from doing it.  We have a lofty and noble goal. But other than feeling good about it, what does it accomplish?”

Opponents say that while the legislation could benefit coastal areas where many renewable energy companies are based, it would negatively hurt the more rural regions, and blue collar areas. It could also result in small business owners being forced to purchase newer equipment, and higher energy costs.

SB350 was passed by the House and Senate on September 11th and was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on October 7th 2015. The text of the new law is here.