In advance of ‘Pathway to 2050’ conference, AEE member companies urge lawmakers to maintain California’s advanced energy momentum
[Sacramento, August 10, 2016] – Advanced energy business leaders go to the Capitol building today to express support for extending California’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions, among other legislative priorities in the current legislative session.
AEE is calling on the legislature to focus on creating regulatory and market certainty for California businesses. This goal would be accomplished by continuing the cap-and-trade system that is now on track to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as required by AB 32, which was passed into law in 2006.
After three years of successful auctions of emission allowances, which sent a market signal favoring low- and zero-emission energy sources and generated revenue for emission-reducing investments, recent auctions have fared poorly, due to uncertainty about the program’s future past 2020. AEE will stress to lawmakers that setting a 2030 greenhouse gas emissions limit and extending the state’s cap-and-trade program are essential to ensuring low-cost emission reductions and continued advanced energy investment in California.
“California’s leadership on energy and climate has helped to create an advanced energy industry with more than half a million workers in the state,” said Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy. “The legislature now has the opportunity to keep the momentum going for jobs and economic growth.”
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a national business association with many member companies in California, supports SB 32, which would set a 2030 cap on greenhouse gas emissions, and several other bills pending before the California legislature. These measures will create jobs and drive economic growth as California continues to build its economy based on advanced energy. That view was delivered today by more than 40 representatives of 26 AEE member companies visiting key California lawmakers.
AEE’s overall legislative priorities for this session include:
- Extending the AB 32 Cap-and-Trade program – to open and expand markets for renewable, clean, and distributed energy resources and provide businesses with regulatory certainty beyond 2020
- Invest Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds to achieve maximum economic and environmental benefits – by leveraging revenue to spur market development and attract private capital, and aligning investments with the state’s energy, emissions reduction, and water conservation strategies
- Align legislative and regulatory priorities for effective implementation – by providing agencies with adequate resources and capacity to make new laws and programs successful
In addition to SB 32, advanced energy business leaders will express support for bills including AB 1330 (Bloom), which would ensure sufficient funding to implement the energy efficiency mandates in SB 350, passed last year; AB 2454 (Williams), which would require investor-owned utilities to consider the cost-effectiveness of demand response resources; and AB 1612, which would secure additional funds for distributed energy storage among other priorities in the Resources Budget.
In the second annual report commissioned by the Advanced Energy Economy Institute, a nonprofit educational organization affiliated with AEE, advanced energy employment in California was documented at over 500,000 workers in 2015, an increase of 18 percent from the year before, six times the rate of overall job growth in California. Employers surveyed expect to increase advanced energy employment another 8 percent this year.
The advanced energy industry lobbying visit comes the day before AEE’s Pathway to 2050, the organization’s fourth annual conference in Sacramento focusing on the challenges and opportunities for business growth arising from California’s nation-leading climate and energy commitments. This year’s event, which will be held tomorrow at the Sacramento Convention Center, features panels on implementing SB 350; corporate purchasing of renewable energy; scaling capital for advanced energy projects; opportunities for collaboration with utilities on the grid of the future; regional expansion of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO); CPUC reform; and California’s Energy Vision for 2050. AEE will also present its first “Pathway Pioneer” awards recognizing advanced energy leadership.
Speakers in this year’s Pathway event include Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León; Assembly Energy and Utility committee chair Mike Gatto; California Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols; California Energy Commissioners David Hochschild and Andrew McAllister; California Independent System Operator President and CEO Steve Berberich; California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Picker and Commissioner Carla Peterman; and President of Southern California Edison Ron Nichols. Also on the program is a media panel featuring Kate Galbraith, San Francisco Chronicle; Dan Morain, Sacramento Bee; Jeff St. John, Greentech Media; and Cassandra Sweet, Wall Street Journal.
About Advanced Energy Economy
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. AEE works with member companies located and doing business in California to help the state reach its energy and climate goals. Visit AEE online at www.aee.net
- 2016 Advanced Energy Jobs in California report is here.
- This is Advanced Energy, directory of 52 technologies, is here.
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