Green laws creating jobs in California

Oct 23, 2008

California efforts to reduce the state's carbon footprint is creating jobs, according to a study by Next 10, a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental innovation in California. The report, featured in a story by the Los Angeles Times, was written by UC Berkeley agriculture and resource economics adjunct professor David Roland-Holst.

The Next 10 report said California laws requiring businesses and residents to cut their carbon output and use local energy sources will create more than 400,000 jobs, help consumers save on their lighting bills and boost the state's economy by $76 billion by 2020, according to the story.

"This is the breakout growth sector of the next generation," the article quoted Roland-Holst. "We cannot afford to miss this market opportunity."

LA Times staff writer Marla Dickerson reported that California's per-capita electricity use is about 40 percent less than the national average mainly because of government-mandated energy efficiency standards for utilities, buildings and appliances put into effect over the last 40 years.

Lower energy use has saved Californians $56 billion since 1972, according to Roland-Holst. That money was spent in the local economy instead of on imported oil, out-of-state electricity or building new power plants.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist