SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Californians for Affordable and Reliable Energy (CARE) responded to new legislative proposals announced today by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León urging both the Legislature and Governor’s Administration to take a careful, pragmatic and balanced approach to California’s next generation of climate change policies. Now that the first generation of policies is underway as a part of AB 32, CARE believes that cost and reliability need to be fully reviewed to assess the best approach for the next round of environmental and climate change goals.
“Businesses and consumers are now paying increasingly higher bills for our current climate change policies under AB 32. While we support the current goals, we have major concerns that the next generation of legislative and regulatory mandates allow businesses and energy providers the flexibility to determine the most cost effective way to meet climate change goals,” said Rob Lapsley, Chairman of the CARE coalition and president of the California Business Roundtable. “Overly prescriptive policies should be avoided as we do not know what technology or economic conditions will exist in 2030 or 2050.”
California has already put in place a very robust climate change program; any new programs must avoid creating economic disincentives. Experience in other jurisdictions shows that overreliance on renewable power leads to increased costs and reduced grid reliability while offering uncertain or minimal environmental benefits. Also, while fuel costs are presently very low, policies already enacted will be increasing the cost of gasoline and diesel for California consumers and business. California drivers already pay more per gallon than any other state in the region; new mandates could create an even larger differential and competitive disadvantage.
CARE believes that business should be involved in the discussion about climate change policy to identify the right strategies to maximize emission reductions, while keeping costs manageable. California must have a climate change policy that is also good economic policy to ensure that other states and countries follow California’s lead. That is the only way that California’s actions will actually result in meaningful progress on addressing the issue of global climate change.
“While we appreciate the Pro Tem’s leadership on this issue, we urge Senator de León to design his climate change policies in a way that ensures California businesses can grow jobs in all sectors of our economy, not just green jobs which still represent a very small percentage of our workforce,” said Lapsley. “We look forward to an active collaboration with Senator de León, the Governor, and other interested parties for a fully transparent and data-driven discussion so that we can achieve our state’s climate change goals and protect our economic competitiveness for the future.”
Californians for Affordable & Reliable Energy is a non-partisan coalition advocating for a comprehensive state energy plan on fuels and electricity that prioritizes affordability, reliability and adequate supply. For more information please visit CAREaboutEnergy.org or connect with the coalition on twitter @CAREaboutEnergy.