SACRAMENTO (January 14, 2009) – Californians will benefit from a new plan to create new green jobs, invest in our state’s clean energy future, and fix the budget through a green stimulus plan unveiled by state legislative leadership today. The proposal highlights a list of critical projects that nearly doubles the amount of economic stimulus in the governor’s plan, while creating jobs that protect California’s future.
The proposal is in response to the state legislature’s nearly five month budget stalemate with Governor Schwarzenegger. If a budget agreement is not reached by February 1, the state will have to suspend many essential transit and infrastructure projects, putting thousands of jobs at risk.
Today’s proposal invests in infrastructure projects that can increase California’s economic growth and create good, environmentally-friendly jobs today. It is designed to invest in our state’s clean energy future, and fix the budget impasse (see plan highlights under “Background” below).
Following are reactions from several of California’s environmental leaders:
Warner Chabot, CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV):
“This stimulus is a powerful prescription for California’s continued economic success - it doubles the stimulus but doesn’t carry the side effects of adding to global warming and threats to public health from other proposals to build new highways. A green stimulus that puts Californians back to work and protects public health, public safety and the environment is just what the doctor ordered.”
Ann Notthoff, California advocacy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
“This proposal is the kind of shovel-ready green investments that are needed to jump start the economy. We can give industries incentives to create good jobs, while creating an energy efficient and green economy without gutting bedrock environmental laws. California leads the nation in legislative initiatives to fight global warming and it’s vital we build on that success to provide a lasting recovery for our economy and a clean energy future.”
Kathryn Phillips, the Sacramento-based director of the California Transportation and Air Initiative for Environmental Defense Fund (EDF):
“We’ve proven over time in California that a clean environment and good jobs go hand in hand. Green jobs are real and can help dig us out of this tough economy.”
Tina Andolina, legislative director for the Planning and Conservation League (PCL):
“This proposal proves that not only can we jump start our economy while protecting our quality of life, but it also shows that green stimulus provides more and better jobs, faster. Our state leaders are clearly committed to investing in California and moving us toward a more sustainable future.”
Dan Jacobson, legislative director, Environment California:
“Green jobs are the perfect combination. This one two punch cuts pollution and puts paychecks in people’s pockets.”
Paul Mason, deputy director, Sierra Club California:
“What’s not to like about the Green Economic Stimulus Plan? Immediate action on this plan will pump thousands of jobs into California’s economy, while benefiting our environment and making our homes and roads safer. Once again, California can show the world that it’s possible to meet the triple bottom line: economy, ecology and social values.”
The Green Economic Stimulus Plan will train workers, restore infrastructure and reduce pollution by investing:
- $800 million in Transportation for the 21st Century: New funds for transit expansion to help meet rising demand and help get Californians where they need to go at a price they can afford.
- $700 million Fix It First: Street & Pothole Repair: Funds to fix existing roads and bridges.
- $100 million to Fixing Aging Parks and Recreational Facilities: New funds to repair aging state parks infrastructure and to create new construction jobs idled by the housing crisis.
- $65 million to Restore Wetlands, Fish & Game Habitat, & Create Jobs: Fund shovel-ready community projects to enhance and restore natural systems while creating construction and other jobs.
- $35 million to grow the California Conservation Corps: Create corps to educate, train, and employ hundreds of at-risk young adults, while providing recycling, energy efficiency, urban forestry, fire mitigation, public safety, natural resource protection and restoration, and other needed services to California communities.
- $10 million to “Green” Urban Areas and Create Jobs: Implement urban tree planting projects that produce local community jobs and increase the livability of our communities.