Ed Note: We’re reposting Bill Roth’s earlier interview with Marin Energy Anuthority Chair Charles McGlashan because of it’s relevance to the ongling ballot initiative Proposition 23. It was originally posted August 4th.
AB32 is California’s pioneering legislation signed by the governor in 2006 that caps greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. I am proud to have served as a corporate sponsor of this legislation. I did so based upon my professional economic analysis that cleantech offered a path for America to win new jobs that would grow our economy.
Today, a gubernatorial candidate and November ballot referendum prop 23 are contesting AB32 as a “job killer,” while environmentalists, business leaders and publications like ours write post after post describing the economic benefits associated with global warming mitigation.
“Total Bunk” is the description Charles McGlashan has for the entire argument that going green somehow costs America jobs. He can be so forthright because he has pioneered job creation in his county by leading the effort in growing local renewable energy supplies and by supporting local economic development through a sustainable transportation system.
McGlashan is Chairperson of Marin Energy Authority and a county supervisor for Marin County. Part one of my interview with McGlashan is available here. In part two, below, we see how the Marin Energy Authority is creating local jobs by offering renewable energy at prices lower than utility-sourced electricity. The environmental result achieved through the creation of this lower priced renewable energy supply represents a 13% reduction in the entire county’s CO2 emissions, beginning in 2011. Marin County has also launch a “SMART” biodiesel-based rail system with a bike path that will integrate into the San Francisco Bay transportation network, enabling new economic development in Marin County communities now trapped by highway congestion.
Small to mid-sized businesses employ half of Americans and are a key to job creation, a fact that seems lost in the funding of Federal TARP and stimulus packages. And it has been local business/community leaders like McGlashan who have traditionally supplied the vision and the ability to create the utilities, roads and other infrastructure needed to enable economic development. What Marin Energy Authority and SMART provide is proof that the innovation needed to address our environmental and wellness issues will also create jobs and local economic development. “Buy Local, Buy Green” is emerging as America’s highest potential path for restoration of our jobs, economy and environment.