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Creating and Keeping Clean Energy Jobs in California

wind turbines in California
The California Apollo Program is working to
create and keep clean energy jobs in California.

A powerful alliance of California business, labor, environmental, and community leaders have joined together to put forth The California Apollo Program, a comprehensive strategy that details how to continue creating clean energy jobs in California and keep them there.

The California Apollo Program notes that California has a large and productive economy — the eighth largest in the world — driven by its skilled workforce, successful businesses, and history of ingenuity and innovation. However, the ongoing economic recession has dragged down even the strongest economies, and while at the outset of the recession the overall employment in California dropped for the first time in five years, jobs in California’s clean energy economy actually grew by five percent. California now leads the U.S. in the number of clean energy jobs, businesses, and patents generated, accounting for over two thirds of U.S. venture capital investment in clean technology, totaling $6.5 billion between 2006 and 2008.

The California Apollo Program is a blueprint for moving California toward broadly shared economic prosperity, energy security, and climate stability while reinforcing the state’s commitment to a new clean energy future.

Phil Angelides, chairman of the national Apollo Alliance, said, “By implementing The California Apollo Program we will be making the right moves to secure our economic future, retain our global leadership in clean energy and technological innovation, and engage the workers and businesses who can keep the world’s eighth largest economy growing. The Apollo Alliance will work with our diverse coalition of business, labor, community and environmental leaders to ensure our state seizes the opportunity to invest in California businesses and create new jobs producing the clean technologies of the future.”

California is not only a state that is seen as a global innovator, especially when it comes to clean energy, but it is also leading the nation with its smart environmental policies that are, and continue to be, powerful drivers of investment and job creation.

If California’s climate law withstands the attacks from out-of-state oil companies and is implemented as scheduled, it alone is expected to generate up to $104 billion in economic activity by 2020.

“We can’t afford to quit on California’s best opportunity to create jobs and ensure a more prosperous decade — expansion of California’s clean energy economy,” said Lisa Hoyos, California coordinator of the Apollo Alliance. “And we also can’t afford to allow big oil to come in from out-of-state and destroy the progress California has made through the state’s implementation of smart and economic-friendly environmental policies.”

“Driving investment into California’s clean energy economy is crucial,” said Ed Smeloff, Principal of U.S. Utilities at SunPower Corporation. “At SunPower, we have benefited from the state’s real commitment to renewable energy and that has broadened the success of solar programs in California.”

California gave birth to the solar industry, but today more than 90 percent of worldwide solar panel production occurs outside the United States. Despite California’s historic role as a global innovator, the state is losing ground to domestic and international competitors in the clean energy race amid inconsistent state and federal support for renewable power and energy efficiency.

“Solar, thermal, and energy efficiency projects are great examples of what the new green economy offers to California — good union jobs building renewable generation plants,” said Bob Balgenorth, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. “Moving forward we must do more to create and keep clean energy jobs in multiple industries that will lead to good, family-supporting careers.”

The California Apollo Program outlines how the state can create and keep clean energy jobs by:

Transforming the Way California Generates and Uses Energy

  • Realize the economic opportunity of California’s groundbreaking comprehensive climate law.
  • Generate 33 percent of the California’s power from renewable sources by 2020 and prioritize in-state production.
  • Upgrade California’s existing buildings to world class energy efficiency standards and ensure that new construction is “green.”
  • Modernize the power grid to support clean energy generation and smart grid technology.
  • Require smart, sustainable and equitable approaches to land use as California’s communities grow.
  • Revitalize rural California by expanding environmentally sustainable renewable energy and carbon sequestration projects.

Maintaining California’s Global Leadership in the Clean Energy Economy

  • Invest in clean energy research and development.
  • Target public and private support toward commercialization of new technologies.
  • Support public-private research and development partnerships.
  • Provide sufficient and stable support for California’s institutions of higher education.

Making It in California, by Californians

  • Help manufacturers retool their factories and retrain their employees to produce clean energy products.
  • Revamp California’s transportation manufacturing industry to meet growing demand for high-efficiency vehicles.
  • Invest in next-generation alternative fuels and California’s low-carbon fuel infrastructure.
  • Modernize California’s transportation infrastructure to connect our neighborhoods, cities and rural areas with world-class transit systems.
  • Promote “Buy California” and “Buy America” policies.
  • Recycle and reuse it in California.

Creating Economic Prosperity for All and Tapping the Skills and Productivity of California’s Workforce

  • Train California’s workers to meet the demands of the clean energy economy.
  • Ensure that the transition to a clean energy economy creates pathways out of poverty.
  • Prioritize the creation of good, family-supporting jobs.

For more information or to download The California Apollo Program please visit: http://www.apolloalliance.org/programs/caap

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