California group pushes for more green investment

The same group that fought to save California’s landmark global warming law last year has $1 million left to fund more clean energy efforts.

03/28/2011


George P. Shultz, the former Republican secretary of state, and Thomas F. Steyer, the Democratic hedge fund billionaire, are reviving the coalition that campaigned last year to save California’s landmark global warming law.

Their new organization, Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, will push for greater investment in green technology and the enforcement of the global warming law, known as A.B. 32, according to Steyer, founder of Farallon Capital Management in San Francisco.

“We’re going to be fighting to make sure it is implemented in a way that not just creates businesses here, but the jobs stay here, and we get the kind of growth that will show the country that this way of thinking is intensely practical and real world,” Steyer said at a news conference.

Shultz said the new group also hopes to have an impact in Washington, but he and Steyer were vague on specific policies they would support.

“The most important thing the federal government can do is to have substantial and sustained support for energy R&D – that’s what’s going to produce the game changers,” Shultz said.

Steyer laid out a national strategy to fight Republican efforts to limit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but more recently, he has kept the focus on California. The group has $1 million left in its coffers from last year’s campaign that would be used to support the new group’s efforts.

“We’ll do some specific monitoring function so we can follow what’s going on, and then publicize that so people know on a jobs basis how we’re doing in the state,” he said. “And to the extent we think it’s necessary, going out and proactively push if we think things aren’t going well.”

Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs collected pledges of support from the state’s Democratic leadership, including Gov. Jerry Brown.

“Clean energy creates jobs and investment, and that’s exactly what we need to help turn our economy around,” Brown said in a statement. “Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs will be a strong voice to ensure that California leads the nation in sustainable energy technology.”

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