Editor’s note: The following was published earlier on CleanTechnica by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in response to Meg Whitman’s Op-Ed suggesting that California Governor Schwarzenegger put “a moratorium on most AB32-related rules. And if he does not, [she] will issue that order on [her] first day as governor.” CleanTechnica is doing its best to rally a debate between the two candidates vying for Schwarzenegger’s job in 2010.
Experts estimate that the four largest clean-energy industries (solar, wind, biofuels, and fuel-cell) will have combined annual revenues of $255 billion by the middle of the next decade. The question isn’t whether the world will move towards cleaner living – the question is how soon this trend will take hold.
There is no better, more fertile place in the United States for green technology and green-collar jobs to take shape than California.
California’s challenge is competitiveness, grasping as much of the share of these markets as possible by being the industry leader in greenhouse gas abatement technology. To date, we’ve done a great job – California captured $6.6 billion in green capital between 2006-2008. And all these start-ups need workers; so green jobs have the potential to be for California what the defense industry was in 1980s.
By Gavin Newsom
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “green building?” Sleek new structures with skins of advanced glass and recycled steel that blend into the landscape, facades and roofs draped in a combination of daylight-harvesting windows, wildlife habitat, and photovoltaics? New construction affords the flexibility to build contemporary masterpieces, like the California Academy of Sciences, which will receive its LEED Platinum certification this morning in San Francisco. The museum will be the largest and most visited LEED Platinum building in the world. (You can watch the event live at 9:30 AM PST).
The Academy of Sciences is a breathtaking example of our city and our citizens’ efforts to address the fact that roughly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in San Francisco are attributable to our buildings. In August of 2008, I signed a groundbreaking green building ordinance that created the most stringent green building requirements in the nation. This was a big step in the right direction, requiring that all new buildings be subject to an unprecedented level of LEED and green building certifications. However, a comprehensive recipe for our environmental and economic sustainability requires solutions to the challenges posed by existing buildings.
A post by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom: At this vital juncture in our country’s history, it’s clear that we must take climate change seriously. America is spending more than $200,000 per minute on foreign oil — $13 million per hour. More than $25 billion a year goes for Persian Gulf imports alone. Our dependence upon oil, especially foreign oil, affects not only our economy but our national security.
We must take real steps to end our reliance on foreign oil. At last night’s presidential debate, I was pleased to hear Senator Obama say that energy independence will be the number one priority of his administration.
We must follow words with action.
In San Francisco, we are establishing this new green economy while reducing our dependence on foreign oil, slashing the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the environment, and creating new green collar jobs.
Last week, I announced that applications for new solar installations in San Francisco have nearly quadrupled since the city’s groundbreaking solar rebate program, GoSolarSF launched in July. Ten workers have been hired to date and we expect the number to triple in the next month. With dedicated support from the next presidential administration this new green economy will take off.