September 2017

California Climate Programs Brought 41,000 Jobs to the Inland Empire

Now that the California Legislature has passed cap-and-trade through 2030 by a supermajority vote, the state's attention is turning towards implementation of our major climate programs, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
While critics frequently argue that efforts to fight climate change hurt the economy and cost jobs, our new report, The Net Economic Impacts of California's Major Climate Programs in the Inland Empire, finds that California's climate programs brought a net benefit of $9.1 billion in direct economic activity and 41,000 jobs to Riverside and San Bernardino counties from 2010 to 2016.
CLEE and UC Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education, working with the nonpartisan research nonprofit Next 10, found that the four key California climate and clean energy policies(cap and trade, the renewables portfolio standard, distributed solar policies and energy efficiency programs) are having an overall positive economic impact on the region.
We also found that these net benefits to the Inland Empire are likely to continue and grow through 2030, as the state strives to meet its newly legislated climate goals, via SB 32 (Pavley, 2016), SB 350 (De Leon, 2015), and now AB 398 (Eduardo Garcia, 2017). Those efforts will require at least 50% renewables, a doubling of energy efficiency in existing buildings, and a robust cap-and-trade program through 2030. AB 617 (Cristina Garcia) also calls for concurrent air toxic reductions to address environmental justice and air quality concerns in regions like the Inland Empire.

Based on the findings in the Inland Empire, we suggest that policy makers wishing to continue these benefits focus on policies that reward cleaner transportation in this region, help disburse cap-and-trade auction proceeds in a timely and predictable manner, and create robust transition programs for workers and communities affected by the decline of the Inland Empire's greenhouse gas-emitting industries. Such assistance could include re-training and job placement programs, bridges to retirement, and regional economic development initiatives.

The report's authors will also be discussing these findings in a webinar on Tuesday, September 12 at 10am

Register now  to join us and please come with questions!

You can access the  full report here and see a bit of of our media coverage in  The Press Enterprise and in  KPCC 89.3

For more information, contact Ethan Elkind, the Director of the Climate Program at CLEE.

Upcoming Evening Event
When: Thursday, September 21 from  5:00-7:30pm
Where: Warren Room (295 Boalt), UC Berkeley School of Law

As SB 350 (De Leon, 2015) requires California to double the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 2030, private sector investment will be critical to financing these energy retrofits. What metering technologies and new policies will be needed to unlock large-scale financing? 

Following up on our 2016 report,  Powering the Savings , speakers will focus on recent innovations, new policies, and promising success stories on metered energy efficiency that the state can build on to achieve these ambitious and necessary climate and energy goals.

The event will include a keynote address from:
  • California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister 
Followed by a panel featuring: 
  • Jon Wellinghoff, former chair of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) 
  • Carmen Best, Independent Energy Efficiency Advisor
  • Vincent Davis, Pacific Gas & Electric (invited)
RSVP now for this evening panel as space is limited. 

Faculty + Staff
In the News

In Water Deeply, Nell Green Nylen and Mike Kiparsky argue that optimism about groundwater markets should be tempered by careful consideration of the risks, citing evidence from a new CLEE report
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Dan Farber blogs about the history of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the emerging field of Disaster Law

Ethan Elkind spoke to AirTalk on KPCC 89.3  to discuss the future of the coal industry under a Trump Administration trying to revive it.

While ostriches don't actually hide their heads in sand, Holly Doremus argues that's what the Trump Administration is doing with its decision to disband the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment.
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The Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) channels the creativity and expertise of the Berkeley community into pragmatic policy solutions to critical environmental and energy issues.  


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