Updated Analysis: Calif. Emissions Law Will Help Both Environment and Economy

The California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board (ARB) has just released an updated economic analysis of California’s Climate Change Scoping  that forecasts robust economic growth as the state continues implementing AB32—the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006—focusing primarily on energy efficiency and fuel diversification measures.

The ARB is charged with bringing AB32 from paper to reality. And with a backdrop of criticism (including, most importantly, an oil-industry-backed effort to suspend the law) and claims that its implementation would lead the state’s poor economy becoming even more anemic, the board needed to update its earlier projections, which had become dated. ARB has also formed a 16-member Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee (EAAC) to provide advice on the implementation of AB 32. This group’s Economic Impacts Subcommittee has advised ARB as it revised its economic analysis.

Stanford Professor Lawrence Goulder, chairman of the EAAC, will attend an Air Resources Board meeting tomorrow, where the updated analysis will be presented.

Key findings from the updated analysis:

  • Implementing the law will create 2 million new jobs…by 2020
  • Once the law is implemented, it projects a 2.4 percent yearly economic growth
  • By reducing emissions, individuals and businesses will reduce their transportation fuel costs by $4 billion…by 2020

And the costs of doing all this? You’ll find those numbers, too, if you comb through the 100+ page report. Still, skeptics are already calling ARB’s math “fuzzy.”

Certainly, the updated report won’t silence those who oppose AB32. But the report does bode well for green businesses. Look for more updates on the ongoing story as they develop.

Freelance writer Mary Catherine O'Connor finds that a growing number of companies are proving the ways that they can make good financially, socially and environmentally (as the triple bottom line theory suggests).With that in mind, she contributes to Triple Pundit, as well as to Earth2Tech and other pubs focused on sustainability. She also writes The Good Route, an Outside Magazine blog that addresses the intersection of sustainability and the active/outdoor life.To find out more, or to reach her, go to www.mcoconnor.com.