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Joining E2 is the most effective way to stay informed about cutting-edge environmental issues, leverage your professional network, and use your skills to influence important environmental policy issues.

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Business Voice for the Environment
April 29, 2010
- Advocacy, publications and events
- Why It's Good for Business
- Event launches Pacific Northwest Chapter
- E2 Member speaks out
- Northern California's Spring EcoSalon
- E2 was originator, principal sponsor of SB 77
- New York events and advocacy update
- Event highlights three experts in the field
- Honoring Senator Pavley, update on AB 32
- E2's April 2010 monthly TeleSalon
 Relative impact of climate policy on GSP and jobs
 Relative impact on Gross State Product and jobs under different policy options from business as usual on left to full implementation of AB 32 on right
Is climate policy good for business? Are California citizens better off as a result of the state’s policies? We think the answer is yes, and in this article we take a look at both the positive and negative economic impacts of climate policies and why some economic analyses widely differ in their outcomes. While we use data from California, we believe similar arguments would hold true for well designed Federal policies.
Most of what we need to do to address climate change is also needed to grow jobs and new industries in California and to improve our energy security. Our current economy is dangerously tied to fossil fuels whose price volatility can disrupt our economic recovery. To the extent that these fuels come from abroad we also export economic activity that could have elevated domestic prosperity.
As the chart at right shows, the rising costs of fossil fuels as forecasted by the U.S. Department of Energy will cost the California economy $84 billion in lost gross state product and a resulting loss of 626,000 jobs. Measures proposed by California climate policies could mitigate higher fossil fuel costs and also create a net increase in economic output ($104 billion improvement) and jobs (738,000 increase) through investments in clean energy (source Next10).
A Quick Synopsis of AB 32

It has been nearly four years since California enacted the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and started developing a comprehensive set of climate policies that will reduce global warming pollution at a net economic benefit to the state. The last four years...read more >
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 U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (left) addresses E2 members and guest after an introduction by Chapter Director Mark Liffmann (standing at right). (Click on image for larger version.)
On April 9 in Seattle, E2's newest chapter, Pacific Northwest, signaled its emergence with an inaugural EcoSalon on "National Climate Change Legislation: Getting to 60 Votes." The event featured U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and David Doniger, Policy Director NRDC's Climate Center, who gave attendees an inside look at climate proposals now before the Senate, including progress to date and hurdles still to be overcome. The presentations and the spirited question and answer session that followed covered a range of topics that bear on getting to the legislative finish line. One recurring theme was the need to reach across the lines between parties, houses of Congress, policy camps and, ultimately, nations to solve this global problem.

E2 Co-founder and NRDC Trustee Nicole Lederer was on hand to celebrate the new chapter and welcome new and prospective members from the Pacific Northwest region. The event was co-sponsored by Northwest Energy Angels and Business Leaders for Climate Solutions. It was held on the Seattle campus of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

According to Chapter Director Mark Liffmann, "This event attracted almost 100 environmental, entrepreneurial and investment leaders, including some of the region's true pioneers in these fields - for example, Denis Hayes, the inventor of Earth Day. E2's philosophy is that sparks fly when you bring these kinds of people together, and we immediately saw that here - the energy in the room was awesome. E2 Pacific Northwest is off to a great start!"

Thanks go to Mark, Nicole, event organizer Chris P. Dennett, and E2 member...read more >
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Climate policy is under threat - we invite E2 members to give us their views on why climate policy is good for the economy. This month's guest article is written by E2 Northern California member Adam Stern, who is Vice President for Policy and Strategy at TerraPass Inc. Adam is also working part-time for E2 on business outreach efforts to defend AB 32.

E2 is actively involved in the campaign to defend California's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and stop a ballot measure that would suspend the law. The voter initiative needs 434,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot - a likely outcome now that Texas-based oil companies Valero and Tesoro are major contributors to a $2 million fund devoted to signature-gathering. The deceptively worded ballot measure would suspend the law until the state's unemployment rate drops below 5.5% for a full year. Since California has rarely experienced such employment conditions, the ballot measure would effectively repeal AB 32.

As the campaign takes shape, E2 is working to mobilize businesses whose support was crucial to AB 32's passage in 2006. Many cleantech companies see their future premised on the market incentives embedded in AB 32. Mainstream companies such as Google, eBay, Applied Materials and Levi Strauss also support AB 32 for its potential to strengthen California's economy. Businesses and environmental groups have joined forces under an umbrella organization, Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs.

This coalition is highlighting how narrow financial interests, especially out-of-state oil companies, are pushing the ballot measure to avoid making important transitions to clean energy. The Dirty Energy Proposition, as it has become known, could also snuff out job growth in sectors of the...read more >
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 Peter Darbee of PG&E (left) shares the stage with Bob Epstein, E2 Co-founder. (Click on image for larger version.)
More than 150 members and guests attended E2 Northern California's Spring EcoSalon on April 6 and were treated to an in-depth look at how the state can meet its ambitious goals for a low-carbon energy future. The beginning of the program featured Peter Darbee, President and CEO of PG&E Corp., in conversation with E2 Co-founder Bob Epstein. Mr. Darbee explained PG&E's longtime favorable stance toward AB 32 as an effective policy designed to spur innovation and job growth for the state and trigger its leadership in the new energy economy.

The opening framework of the program segued to a panel discussion of energy experts who discussed...read more >
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 From left: State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica); Paul Murphy, Office of Santa Clara County; Gary Luebbers, Sunnyvale City Manager; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; Don Eagleston, Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce; Bob Epstein, E2 Co-founder; an Kevin Surace, Serious Materials. (Click on image for larger version.)
There was cause for celebration this month as the California legislature passed, with strong bi-partisan support, a bill that will catalyze voluntary energy retrofits to residential and commercial property while creating a projected 10,500 direct jobs. During an April 21 press conference at the Sunnyvale headquarters of Serious Materials, a leading maker of energy-saving building products, Governor Schwarzenegger announced he had signed the bill and explained that SB 77 is testament to the idea that good environmental policy and good economics go hand-in-hand. By standardizing a statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing system, the bill will make it easier and more affordable for Californians to undertake energy efficiency measures and small renewable energy projects on their properties by paying back the cost of the project over time through an assessment added to their property tax.

A small but dedicated team of E2 members and staff worked effectively over the past four months with the bill's author, State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica), to make this bill a reality and demonstrate the broad support for policies that create jobs, reduce pollution and enhance our energy independence (see E2's February support letter).

Also, for an update on PACE financing in New York, see the article below.
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 From left: Peter Malik, CMI Director of NRDC; U.S. Congressman Steve Israel (NY-2); and Tony Malkin, President of Malkin Holdings LLC and owner of the Empire State Building. (Click on image for larger version.)
On April 5, E2 members and guests gathered at the Empire State Building for cocktails and a discussion, "Building a Sustainable Future: Promoting and Implementing Energy Efficient Building Solutions to Curb Climate Change." E2 was honored to have three speakers who are at the forefront of this work.

Peter Malik is the Director of NRDC's Center for Market Innovation (CMI), whose mission is to work with the business community to create a new dynamic in the marketplace, one that encourages clean and profitable solutions to environmental challenges. CMI brings business and government together to help shape environmental policies and thereby help to unlock bottlenecks and market barriers so that businesses can capture savings from investing in environmental solutions. He emphasized that improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings is an integral part of the CMI's global warming solutions strategy....read more >
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 Top row, from left: Jeremy McDiarmid, Dave Miller and Jay Baldwin. Bottom row, from left: Sonia Hamel, Commissioner of DEP Laurie Burt and Berl Hartman.
Reliance on petroleum for transportation fuel leaves America vulnerable to the instability of the global oil market. At the same time, transportation is one of the largest sources of global warming pollution. One promising strategy to address our petroleum addiction while reducing global warming is a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS).

A LCFS reduces the carbon intensity, and hence the greenhouse gas emissions, from fuels. It is performance-based and technology-neutral, which means it does not dictate how that the reduction is accomplished, but simply sets a declining standard for emissions. Suppliers would be free to choose how they meet the emissions targets. For example, they could blend lower-carbon biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol, into the gasoline they sell; reduce emissions from the refining process; purchase credits from electric utilities that supply low-carbon electricity to plug-in hybrids or battery-powered electric vehicles; sell natural gas for use as a transportation fuel; diversify into low-carbon hydrogen as a product; or invent some new alternative fuel technology....read more >
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 E2 members Elizabeth McPhail (far left) and Lee Stein (far right) flank California State Assembly Member Mary Salas (D-Chula Vista) and State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica).
On March 18, E2 Southern California hosted a reception in La Jolla honoring State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica). Senator Pavley was in San Diego for informal hearings of the Senate Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation at the Scripps Seaside Forum on March 19. Retired Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, who flew to San Diego to testify at the hearing, Assembly Member Mary Salas (D-Chula Vista), and Adrienne Alvord, Senator Pavley's Environmental Policy Director, were also honored guests at the reception.

Chapter Director Lee Stein formally introduced Senator Pavley, recounting the early successes E2 has shared with her. Lee noted that, in his travels, he has personally witnessed acknowledgement that Senator Pavley's leading-edge legislation to combat climate change is known around the world....read more >
On April 6, E2 hosted a webinar-enabled TeleSalon, "Green Con-Men, Eco Poodles, and the Climate Bill," featuring Stephen Schneider, climate scientist and Nobel Laureate; David Hawkins, Director of Climate Programs at NRDC; and Bob Deans, Director of Federal Communications at NRDC.

Dr. Schneider used a series of recent political cartoons and images to illustrate the sometimes absurd nature of the fight - particularly over the institution of science itself - for the hearts and minds of the public and legislators over global warming and policies to contain carbon emissions. He also pointed out that leadership from the business, science and NGO communities would be key to bringing the country's political leadership along.

David provided an update on the most prominent climate bill being developed in the Senate - the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman effort - and detailed provisions that NRDC is keeping an eye on regarding nuclear power, outer continental shelf oil exploration/drilling, the Clean Air Act, transportation fuel carbon charges and allowances for international forest protections.

Bob described the public relations and communications challenges of the public fight over climate legislation, pointing out that the type of traditional journalism that social activists rely on to propagate intellectual and balanced information is collapsing, and that the attendant disregard for science - even when findings are issued by such widely respected institutions as NOAA and NASA - can be expected to intensify as business-as-usual proponents spend more and more money in political campaigns. All three speakers agreed that it is more prudent to push an imperfect federal climate bill forward than to drop the fight and wait for an ideal piece of legislation as global warming impacts worsen.
To read all the latest press releases from NRDC, click here.

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