Green Economy


State Budget Deal Undermines Voters on Climate Change

Sarah RoseBy Sarah Rose
California League of Conservation Voters

California voters expect our leaders to make timely investments in activities that fight climate change, create jobs, and improve the environment and public health. Each time the question of whether our state should invest in climate change solutions and a clean energy economy is put to a vote of the people, including Proposition 39, they overwhelmingly vote "yes." And yet today, our elected leaders have delayed the investment in the future that Californians have said they want. This is a particular insult to voters that the Governor used the passage of Prop 39 last November - which should have made our efforts to fight climate change more robust - as an excuse to borrow the revenue.

High Speed Rail: Relief for California's "Mega-Commuters"

By Robert Cruickshank

New data from the US Census Bureau has found that Northern California has the largest proportion of "mega-commuters" in the country - defined as morning commutes of at least 50 miles and 90 minutes. The numbers aren't huge - 2% of workers in the Bay Area core are mega-commuters - but it is a clear sign that something is not working in Northern California.

Doing More with Less: Biofuels and Rural Economic Development

By Mary Solecki

As a small town Midwesterner, I know that farming opportunities are crucial for healthy communities in a large part of the country. My grandmother would remind me, as yours probably did too, "Waste not, want not." Our population is rising, so we have to find a way to do more with less: feed more people, make finite resources stretch.

And I think that is what's at the heart of the biofuels movement: doing more with less. How can we deliver our energy needs from domestic sources and still deliver the food we all need? Well, as my grandmother pinpointed so many years ago, the answer lies in the waste.

How Economists Routinely Get It Wrong on High Speed Rail

By Robert Cruickshank

The main purpose of any transportation project is to help people get to where they want to go. Cost should be a subsidiary factor in the planning of any transportation project. Unfortunately, in the 30 years since right-wing ideology became politically ascendant, keeping costs down so that rich people didn't have to pay higher taxes started taking precedence over building effective transportation projects. This may have been tenable as long as oil prices remained low. But once prices began rising again, it was clear that building electric passenger trains was a top priority for modern societies.

California's Environmental Leadership: Making Progress Amid Economic Recovery

By Ann Notthoff

What California does makes a difference. When President Obama increased national mileage standards last year, he built on the pioneering work that Senator Fran Pavley started here in 2002. We dream big, we take big steps and when it comes to environmental and public health protection, nobody does it better. With his new budget proposal today, Governor Brown has a chance to build on our state's strong record of environmental and public health protection.

California Controller John Chiang Honored with Environmental Leadership Award

By Jenesse Miller

With a dedication that may not immediately be associated with his job description as the state's chief fiscal officer, Controller John Chiang has been a leader in the fight to safeguard California’s environment.

Controller Chiang has worked to make California's finances more transparent and accountable to the public, and fought to weed out waste, fraud and abuse of public money. But what earned him the California League of Conservation Voter's Environmental Leadership Award at our annual gala event this week is his commitment to protecting the state's vast and precious natural resources for all Californians.

Labor, Business, Environmental Leaders Support Job-Creating Prop 39

By Steve Smith

With California's unemployment rate still over 10%, we should be using all available resources to strengthen our economy and create jobs. That's why it's so frustrating to see a wasteful corporate tax loophole draining resources that ought to be putting people back to work. But Prop 39 aims to change that, and anyone who truly cares about creating jobs in California should sprint to the polls on November 6th to pass this commonsense measure.

Last week in San Francisco leaders from California's labor, business and environmental communities stood together to close the loophole that's costing tens of thousands of jobs and slowing our economic recovery.

California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski:

Prop 39: Closing a Corporate Tax Loophole and Bringing Jobs Back to California

By Rebecca Band

Why does California reward ultra-rich companies that move jobs out of the state?

I'll tell you why. In 2009, during secret, behind-closed-doors budget negotiations, a handful of state legislators and Gov. Schwarzenegger snuck in a colossal but little-known corporate tax giveaway into the budget in the dead of night. This loophole, known as the "elective single sales factor," gives corporations the option to reduce the taxes they pay to California by keeping jobs and investment in other states – giving companies a huge incentive to hire outside of California.

If Proposition 32 Passes: A Not-So-Green Golden State

By Matthew Fleischer

How different would California look with Proposition 32's passage? To imagine, it's not necessary to focus on a Golden State without the legacy of its unions, but rather to think of a California in which only the rich and powerful have a say in Sacramento and in the polling booth.

"It will have a devastating effect," says John Logan, director of Labor Studies at San Francisco State University, of Prop. 32's impact. "California would be transformed as a state."

On environmental issues alone, Prop. 32 stands to roll back decades of progress in making California a global leader in green policy-making.

Sustainable Communities Bills Sent to Governor Brown

By Madeline Janis

On August 29, 2012, one of the most important job creation and environmental bills in recent memory was adopted by the legislature and sent to the governor. Senate Bill 1156 was developed and introduced by Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg and supported by a strong majority in both houses. Steinberg built quiet momentum behind the bill starting last February, in partnership with a broad-based coalition of community, environmental, labor, smart-growth and good-government activists, with support from the counties, infill developers, non-profit housing developers and business.