Bay Area Council Solidifies Support of AB 32

By Jim Wunderman

Today, the Bay Area Council announced that its Executive Committee voted to continue the business organization’s support of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), the Global Warming Solutions Act. AB 32 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006. The Executive Committee of the Bay Area Council took action to solidify their support in response to a possible initiative on the November 2010 ballot postponing implementation of AB 32.

The Bay Area Council’s Executive Committee also agreed with the positions laid out by Governor Schwarzenegger in a March 24, 2010 letter to the California Air Resources Board, which clarified how AB 32 can be implemented in a way that would allow California businesses to remain competitive.

“The notion of repealing AB 32 presents a false choice to the people of California,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “We don’t have to choose between a strong economy and combating climate change. These two critically important goals can mutually reinforce each other. In fact, postponing AB 32 would send a signal to the world that California is hot and cold on climate change – a view that will crimp investment in our future economy.”

In 2006, the Bay Area Council was the first business group in California to support AB 32 and successfully negotiated language that made the bill business friendly. The Bay Area Council recognized then the threat of climate change to the economy and quality of life, and also saw an opportunity for California to become a global leader in clean technology and related fields.

“The threats that existed in 2006, when AB 32 was first adopted, still exist today,” said Wunderman. “But so do the opportunities.”

According to Governor Schwarzenegger’s letter to the Air Resources Board, California has already seen a positive economic impact due to AB 32. Indeed, between 2006 and 2008, 10,000 new green businesses were created, producing more than 125,000 jobs – more than any other state in the country.

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