Earlier this week as a director for the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) I voted to support the California Jobs Initiative, a proposal to temporarily suspend implementation of AB 32 until California's unemployment rate sinks to 5.5% for four consecutive quarters. The initiative will likely go before voters on the November, 2010 ballot.
I believe along with the CMTA that adjusting the schedule of regulations under the state’s greenhouse gas reduction law until the California economy recovers is necessary because:
AB 32 will cost California even more manufacturing jobs
Restoring jobs and supporting a healthy California economy should be our state’s first priority. We’ve already lost over 630,000 high wage manufacturing jobs since 2001 and AB 32’s costly regulations will put even more jobs at risk – jobs we simply can’t afford to lose. Temporarily suspending AB 32 will help keep manufacturing in California.
AB 32 implementation will increase costs for manufacturers, employers and consumers
Sharp increases in energy and other costs for manufacturers under AB 32 will translate not only to lost jobs but to higher costs for employers and consumers at a time they can least afford it. This will worsen the current recession and delay the economic recovery California so desperately needs.
Temporarily suspending AB 32 will help keep California manufacturing competitive
Because manufacturers in other states and countries are not subject to AB 32 costs, implementation at this time will create an unlevel competitive playing field for California manufacturers. The temporary suspension of AB 32 will give California manufacturers an incentive to remain in the state rather than move jobs and tax revenues to states where their operating costs would be more affordable.
California will still have the strictest environmental laws in the country even if AB 32 regulations are postponed until the economy recovers
AB 32 applies only to greenhouse gas emissions, which do not have local impacts. Suspending AB 32 will not weaken or repeal other existing laws that protect our air and water quality, which have made California manufacturing facilities cleaner-operating than most in other states.
I am part of a family that has lived in California since 1854. I love my state, and I want to see it return to the vibrant economic powerhouse it once was. Manufacturing jobs are essential to California’s economic recovery. Temporarily suspending AB 32 will help preserve jobs and make it easier to create more. The California Jobs Initiative will help put Californians back to work and its economy back on track.