Clean Tech Industry Leader to Californians: Walk the Walk and Oppose Proposition 23

By Riggs Eckelberry, CEO, OriginOil

Proposition 23, a controversial initiative going to California voters November 2, stands to be one of the biggest setbacks for national clean energy and climate-change policy.

If passed, Prop 23 would effectively overturn California’s landmark global warming legislation, suspending California’s 2006 history-making climate bill, AB32, which mandates a 25% reduction in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Why should we oppose their ballot initiative? Because Prop 23 will threaten the environment and will damage California’s green job creation.  Clean technology is California’s newest boom industry, akin to the aerospace and high tech industries that literally built our modern state into the G-8 sized powerhouse that it is today.

AB 32 maintains the market certainty needed for investment, research and development of inventions as well as jobs. Since its passage, clean tech venture capital in California has skyrocketed, with investments of more than $6.5 billion. As the economy slowed between 2007 and 2008, total employment fell by 1 percent, but clean tech jobs continued to grow 5 percent. That’s something we need to reinforce, not cut back.

If we suspend AB 32, as Big Oil wants, all of that potential will be put on hold. Why should we help large oil companies maximize their profits? We do not charge them a dime for drilling in sometimes-sensitive areas like the Santa Barbara Channel. And the heavy metals and pollution from petroleum create a toxic environment for our children and us.

We have to increase our support for clean energy, not cut it back. Because we can’t just talk the talk; we have to walk the walk, too.

I love California, and we have great talent here. But until AB 32 is fully implemented, no one is purchasing the cleaner fuels here. As a result, companies like mine are doing research in state, but producing fuels where consumers are located. My own company, OriginOil, has already found its first major customer – in Australia!

We cannot be a state that promotes its clean tech industry to the rest of the world, but does not itself implement the most basic reforms to its own energy policy. That is how countries like Australia get those green jobs instead of California.  Passage of Proposition 23 will accelerate that shift of jobs overseas, hurting California even more in the long term!

Riggs Eckelberry is CEO of OriginOil, a Los-Angeles-based technology provider to the fast-growing algae to oil industry. The company was founded in June 2007, filed for a public offering and has been trading as OOIL (OTCBB) since April 2008.

More on our Proposition 23 series, as well as the editor’s contact information should you wish to contribute to the series, is here.

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2 responses

  1. Prop 23 is a “Pain in the Neck.” There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhoue gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is job growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employ 65,000 worldwide and the California Jobs Initiative (CJI) is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up jobs after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs and pump-handler jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil industry, increase air polution, especially in communities around their refineries and there will not be lower gas prices. Tesoro, Valero and Koch Industries are super Enrons. Since when did the oil companies start to show any concern for the unemployed and their families and for the consumer? BP, Chevron, Occidental, Exxon Mobil and Shell are silent partners in CJI.

  2. The key thing to keep in mind is that, according to CARB, the organization who wrote and will enforce AB32, AB 32 will do NOTHING to help global warming, will cost jobs and have a negative effect on the economy. This comes from the very people who drew it up!

    AB 32 does nothing for local pollution.

    Prop 23 leaves us with the toughest pollution laws in the country, among the toughest in the world. It will NOT increase local pollution

    If Proposition 23 is rejected, here is what will happen according to expert sources:

    •A 60 percent increase in your electricity bill according to the Southern California Public Power Authority.

    •An 8 percent increase in your natural gas bill according to CARB’s economic analysis.

    •$50,000 more for the price of a new home according to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    •$3.7 billion a year more for gasoline and diesel according to Sierra Research.

    •A $1,000-$3,000 additional cost for a new car according to CARB and automaker studies.

    On top of all that, a study conducted for the California Small Business Roundtable found that AB 32 regulations would cost small business alone nearly $200 billion, and would result in more than 1 million lost jobs.

    The more I learn about AB 32, the more I fear it. It just gets worse. Please vote yes on Prop23.

    “”2 Guys on the Bay Area Transportation Board told the CARB people, “If you try to do what you are going to do(AB 32) we’ll have gas at $9.07 a gallon and we have freeway tolls at up to $4,500 a year to drive during rush hour.”

    “Part of the plan is to stop suburban development, get people to stop driving, make driving too expensive for people to live out there, force them to live in high-rises, condos, in the city.”

    For months, John and Ken have made Prop 23 their top priority, calling it a necessary step to stop a law they say will kill jobs and cost Californians a fortune in higher gas and energy prices. With an estimated one million listeners per week, these two guys usually manage to rally enough votes to get their way.

    The video has John and Ken explaining why they think this bill is the most important measure on the ballot.

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