© 2014 Tony Webster

The election is over, but the need for a strong #CleanEconomyGovernor is growing
November 28, 2018

 

Since Election Day, the need for California to lead the way on clean energy and climate change has come into even sharper focus.

 

A record-breaking season of deadly fires has killed dozens of Californians. Scientists tell us global warming will bring longer droughts and more extreme weather conditions, and as Gavin Newsom said during his successful campaign for governor, “addressing climate change and reducing global greenhouse gas emissions provides the only long-term fix” for our state’s growing fire threat.

 

On the national level, a new U.S. government assessment of climate change confirms serious effects on the environment and the economy, and warns of dire consequences for both if we don’t respond to the threat in a responsible way. But Washington is not answering this call for leadership; instead, the federal government continues to dismantle policies focused on clean energy and climate action while championing policies that continue to support dirty, outdated fossil fuels.

 

No matter who’s in the White House, and through Republican and Democratic governors alike, California has carved out a role as America’s leading practitioner of sensible and effective clean energy and climate change policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while growing a thriving and increasingly cleaner economy.

Our state’s 40th governor, Gavin Newsom, is perfectly poised to build on that record of achievement, and business leaders across the state will continue to press him to be a #CleanEconomyGovernor.

 

The #CleanEconomyGovernor coalition is made up of business groups representing or collaborating with companies that contribute more than $1 trillion in global revenue. We are looking forward to working with a governor who has a strong business background and a history of supporting pioneering policies that promote clean, renewable, advanced energy technologies that benefit all communities across the state. 

 

Then-candidate Newsom said he was “proud of our state” when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating 100% renewable electricity by 2045. In the campaign’s sole debate, he spoke of tightening up rules against fossil fuel extraction and getting “more aggressive” when it comes to fracking. He spoke of California’s role as an international leader on climate policy, saying, “ I am committed and passionate about that. I want to lead.” 

 

Now he has the chance to do exactly that. As California’s chief executive, it’s essential that Gavin Newsom follow those words with actions.

 

Our state’s advanced energy economy is the largest in the United States, employing over 542,000 Californians. California’s climate and clean energy policies have driven more than $49 billion in public and private clean energy investments into the state’s economy. California Climate Investments alone – funded by proceeds from our state’s cap-and-trade auctions that go toward programs designed to curb emissions and advance clean energy – support 8.8 jobs for every $1 million the state invests, compared to 1.6 jobs for every $1 million invested in the oil and gas industries.

 

It’s no accident that this year, California overtook the U.K. to become the fifth-largest economy in the world and also announced it had hit its goal of reducing emissions below 1990 levels four years ahead of schedule. We Californians have demonstrated that lowering emissions and growing the economy go hand in hand. California business leaders need Gavin Newsom to be a #CleanEconomyGovernor so we can continue to show the nation and the world how to create a more prosperous, more sustainable planet.