Last week we ran an op ed piece from SD 37 candidate Russ Bogh, Republican. We received this op ed from Democratic candidate Justin Blake too late to run in the edition prior to the April 13 primary. I'm placing it in my blog as a courtesy to Mr. Blake. Our editor felt that as an op ed piece it was neither breaking news nor daily news. Blake's text follows:
"Why are Republicans siding with big oil in an effort to repeal AB 32?
Four years ago, California earned international accolades for adopting a law that would slash its greenhouse gas emissions and serve as a model for national climate change legislation.
Governor Arnold Schwartzenneger enthusiastically signed AB 32, the state’s pioneering roadmap to a clean energy economy. The California Air Resources Board, the agency responsible for implementing AB 32, predicts increased economic production of 33 billion dollars. It also forecasts increased overall gross state product of 7 billion, and increased personal income of 16 billion.
Already, nearly 6.5 billion in capital has been invested in California’s green energy economy. In 2008 alone, California based companies received almost 60% of all clean tech investments in the United States, totaling a record 3.3 billion dollars in 111 separate investments. Five of the nations top 10 cities for clean tech investment are in our state. The Inland Empire, with its abundance of solar, geothermal and wind resources is poised to break into those ranks soon.
According to the non-partisan Next 10 economic foundation, between 1995 and 2008 California’s green businesses increased 45% in number and 36% in employment. Our state now has more than 3,000 clean tech businesses that provide 44,000 jobs. CARB’s analysis is consistent with the numerous peer-reviewed studies concluding that California can expect robust economic growth while implementing AB 32.
But everybody supports the continuation of Riverside County’s green energy movement, right?
Not so. Even now, the dangerous and falsely named “California Jobs Initiative” is being readied for inclusion on the November ballot. Bill Emmerson and Russ Bogh, Republican candidates for the 37th Senate district, fully support the move to repeal AB 32 along with Houston’s Valero Oil Corporation, which has bankrolled the effort to the tune of a half a million dollars. Other Texas oil giants are dolling out big bucks, too. Oddly, there is very little California money in the repeal campaign.
Last February, Emmerson wrote in the Desert Sun “Job creation is essential to rebuilding California.” He acknowledges that in the past year, while serving Redlands in the State Assembly, the unemployment rate in his neighboring Riverside County rose high above the national average to over 14%. Incredibly, Emmerson voted against AB 32 and now even now supports its repeal.
Bogh also voted against AB 32. On January 7, he responded to the Governor’s State of the State Address saying, “We need to put the brakes to excessive regulations like AB 32, the bill that will put another bullet in California’s economy.”
The stakes are high here. We cannot allow big oil to continue their wholesale purchase of our elected officials purely for the sake of corporate greed. Ignore the sound bites. Get the facts.
Voters have a choice between clean, renewable energy and the continued escalation of big oil profits. We, the citizens of Riverside County, are already living in Green country. On April 13th and June 8th, let’s vote to keep it that way."