Standing Up For Clean Energy in California

On Tuesday, my colleague Annie Notthoff blogged about how the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is serving as a wake-up call for why we need to transition California and the rest of the nation to a clean energy economy.

Now we’re making sure that call is being heard loud and clear.  Earlier today, I joined a dedicated group of environmental advocates to speak out to protect California’s landmark clean energy law, AB 32, from a dirty energy ballot proposition funded by Texas oil companies intent on putting profits ahead of what’s best for our state’s economic future.

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The speakers included former Cal-EPA Secretary Terry Tamminen, actress Amy Smart, and representatives from some of Southern California’s most prominent environmental groups.  Each of us had a slightly different angle, but our basic message was the same:  The disaster in the Gulf is a stark reminder of where our overdependence on oil has led us.  It is threatening fisheries in the Gulf and sensitive wildlife habitat.  It will cost the Gulf region jobs – in fishing, tourism, and much more.  The economic impact will be staggering.

And yet we continue to send a billion dollars a day overseas for imported oil.  We endure polluted air.  We allow ecological catastrophes like this disaster in the Gulf to happen.

Compared to all that, clean energy is a bargain.

Here in California, we already have a solution.  Since its enactment in 2006, AB 32 has set consistent standards for business to help us revitalize our state’s economy by sparking innovation and investment, and creating jobs.  California is leading the way toward clean energy sources that are better for our environment and our pocketbooks, and the rest of the nation – as well as other countries – are already taking similar actions.

Now, however, two Texas oil and dirty energy companies are spending millions of dollars to kill AB 32.  They know that clean energy for California means less profit for them.  And they will spend whatever it takes to repeal our landmark clean energy law.

We cannot let them get away with this.  Californians need to reject this dirty energy proposition.  AB 32 is moving us toward a clean energy economy, and we need to do everything we can to protect it.

To join our campaign, Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, or for more information on how you can help, please check out our campaign website.

(Photos © Rita Crayon Huang, used with permission.)