AB-32 is not the Jobs Killer opponents say it is

We had the experience of personally meeting Jon Fleischman yesterday at a fundraiser for the USA Men’s and Women’s Olympic Volleyball teams at Morton’s Steak House in Anaheim.  And while this experience did little to change my perception of Mr. Fleischman, it did call to mind a post he placed on the FlashReport about what a jobs killer AB-32 would be.  AB-32 being the 2006 law designed to show California’s leadrship in combatting the harmful effects of climate change by fostering new green and clean technology jobs which opponents, like the California Jobs Initiative, say will actually place 3 million jobs at risk.

In a word: bull.

You can read Jon’s post about AB-32 here, but this is really a situation where Jon is parroting what CJI says rather than actually review the study CJI cites about AB-32.  This is what we’d call a Paul Harvey “Rest of the Story” moment. 

There was this Los Angeles Times op-ed that ran last week by the authors of of a study on AB-32 often cited by opponents of the legislation who say their work was co-opted by opponents to mis-state the research.

From the Times op-ed, written by Carol Zabin is director of research of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. David Graham-Squire is a research associate at the center:

Our research, “Addressing the Employment Impacts of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act,” which was released in February 2009, has been used by groups like the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., AB 32 Implementation Group and the California Jobs Initiative as part of their campaign to stop the implementation of AB 32. They claim that our study says AB 32 will “threaten” more than 3 million jobs in California, but the report says no such thing. In fact, it shows that AB 32 will generate enormous opportunities for California by fostering leading-edge technologies, processes and products that can be exported to the rest of the world.

All the most rigorous research done so far on AB 32’s economic impact agrees that the law will have a small but positive impact on the state’s jobs. The main reason is that California households will save money by using products that are more energy efficient — such as appliances that use less electricity and cars that use less gasoline — and they will be able to spend that savings on other goods and services, which will create jobs. In addition, generating energy savings by doing things like retrofitting buildings produces more domestic jobs than generating fossil fuel energy.

So where did the anti-AB 32 groups come up with their 3 million “threatened” jobs? In our study, we do talk about 3 million jobs. It is the estimated number of jobs in industries that, when the study was done, seemed likely to be affected by AB 32 through 2020. And what does “affected” mean? Our research didn’t find that any of these jobs disappeared, but it did show that some industries would grow faster and some slower, resulting in that small net gain in jobs overall.”

When you consider that California led the nation is clean tech investments in 2009, with California companies receiving about a total of $2.1 billion in investments spread across 116 separate investments, to add to a $6.5 billion capital investment in clean energy economy in the last three years, AB-32 shouldn’t be delayed. 


  1. The drive for “Clean Energy” – “Cap & Trade” – “Carbon Credits” and all this “Global Warming” stuff is and opportunity for the sophisticated investor to make millions by getting in at the bottom floor of the next financial bubble.
    It’s scandal #2 at: http://www.larouchepac.com/lpactv?nid=14324
    5 minute video

    If you snooze you lose.

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