A Small Green Business Take on Prop 23

By Jaime Nack, President, Three Squares Inc. | Executive Director, Women In Green Forum

California is and has historically been a pioneer and leader in progressive environmental standards and policies both nationally and abroad. We have taken it upon ourselves to lead by example with statewide environmental initiatives, responding to the growing demand and need to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on foreign oil.  In a few weeks, this reputation will be put to the test when the Prop. 23 measure is up for a vote.

Although some may consider the Proposition 23 vote a debate over the issues, it seems instead to be a stakeholder battle funded by corporate interests. Let’s first consider the fact that the majority of the support for Prop. 23 (and the opposition to AB 32) comes from out-of-state gas and oil companies. Pouring millions into campaigns promoting Prop. 23, companies like Tesoro and Flint Hill Resources are simply looking to protect future profits. They claim that clean fuel legislation has a negative effect on California’s economy and a major instigator of un-employment. That simply is not so.

Rather than reduce unemployment, Proposition 23 would undermine the laws that support the rapidly expanding green technology and business sector.  As President of Three Squares Inc., a sustainability consulting firm based in California, we see the need for continuing government support of alternative energy projects.  Government funding is crucial for the development of alternative fuel infrastructure, deployment of clean vehicles on the roads, and support for research and development of clean tech ventures that both directly and indirectly create hundreds of thousands of jobs.  These jobs create the demand for skilled workers and provide placement opportunities for those who are being trained in these growing fields.

Our company has experienced a 200% growth rate due to our ability to tap into innovative programs that demonstrate successful public-private partnerships. For one such project, our team worked to secure government funding for an alternative fueling station as part of a larger plan for fueling infrastructure development. In this and many other instances, Proposition 23 would significantly impact our ability to bring these technologies to market.  A vote for 23 is a vote to support the “business as usual” view of California with endless overcrowded freeways with gasoline-powered cars idling for hours on end.  A NO vote on 23 will allow the innovative and forward-thinking policymakers and technology providers to implement systems to clean up our air, water and energy portfolio for a more sustainable tomorrow.

Jaime Nack is the Founder and President of Three Squares Inc., a sustainability consulting firm offering strategic counsel and communications services for companies, universities, non-profits, and government agencies.

Our Proposition 23 Series, Sponsored by EOS Climate, will continue up to the November 2 Election.  Please reach out to us if you are interested in contributing to the series!

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6 responses

  1. Great post. Its essential that small businesses understand that clean energy standards are not bad, and in fact good, for small business. They are only ‘bad’ (aka. costly) for big business. That’s why big oil from Texas is behind Prop 23. The research is pouring in to confirm that small businesses around the state and the country can rest assured that moves toward clean energy are the best risk management strategies small businesses can employ. Don’t let big business greenwash us into thinking its about small business. Its not.

  2. Points to ponder on AB 32:

    ° Sacramento State University reports estimated cost of $3734 per year per family due strictly to this AB 32.

    ° CARB has admitted that California alone cannot have an inpact on reducing global warming and CO2 emissions.

    ° US EPA acknowledges that US action alone will not impact the world CO2 levels;

    ° US EPA (11 July 2010) said that bills in Congress will not reduce the total use of gas and oil of 20 million gallons per day for decades.

    ° LAO (CA Legislative Analyst Office) stated: CA economy at large will be adversely affected by implementation of climate-related policies that are not in place elsewhere. (Letter to Dan Logue, 13 May 2010)

    ° Even CARB’s own economic experts have recognized the fact that jobs will be lost because of AB 32. In fact, they recommend establishing a “Worker Transition Program” to provide assistance to people who lose their jobs because of AB 32 regulations.

    ° AB 32 does nothing for local pollution, nor does Proposition 23 do anything to increase local pollution.

    When the loudest objections to any candidacy or initiative are focused on vilifying its financial backers, this often indicates that its opponents’ arguments on its merits are weak.

    Vote yes on Prop 23 and suspend AB32.

  3. @Wayne

    1. The sacramento report ahs been mis-construed and the people who conudcted it told prop 23 supporters that they have mis-construed it.

    2. Of course not but to get the country into green we need a leader and that will be us

    3. once again of course not but all countires follow America thats why ever other country turns to the wests styles (this has caused global industrilization)

    4. You have to start somewhere, you just cannot keep going the ways, the world changes

    5. In a good way it will help already 12,000 green businesses and create 500,000+ jobs

    6. There no problem with that

    7.Yes it will once again, your repeating youself

    8. pollution sends millions of people to hospitals every year

    9. thousands die from pollution related causes

    10. we have aleady invested 10 billion in green initiatves

    11. pollution stunts ung growth

    prop 23 supporters pump out propaganda fed by big oil companies and koch owned tea party who pays carly fiorina 70k to agree with prop 23

    NO ON PROP 23


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