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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.

Join Now E2 is a partner of NRDC
Business Voice for the Environment
May 28, 2009
- New group to represent business perspective on Transportation Bill
- Growing Green awards given to three leaders
- NRDC Report shows 20% reduction is achievable
- Research suggests alternative thinking, phrasing
- Ruling expands list of harmful substances
- Meets with almost half of the legislature!
- Winning friends and influencing people in unexpected places
- E2 state work reaches national level
- eWaste, climate and water are priotities for Albany advocacy
- Boston May 8 event focuses on Waxman-Markey bill
- Energy Advocacy and Boulder Social
- RFK, Jr. on Mountaintop removal, Fight to protect Appalachia
  Photo id
  Our May 12th team consisted of Ann Notthoff, NRDC; Rick DeGolia; April Mo, NRDC; John Cheney, Meera Balakumar; our lunch speaker Senator Joe Simitian; Bob Epstein, Steve Chadima, David Cheng; Maureen Blanc; Bill Unger, Tony Bernhardt, Brian Rouch and Victoria Rome, NRDC.
On May 12 and 13, E2 members traveled to Sacramento to meet with 57 of the 120 members of the California legislature and the leaders of three state agencies. Our message focused on the economic benefits of existing and proposed state policies in climate, renewable electricity, water efficiency and marine protected areas. For a summary of the information we presented, see “Sacramento summary”.

E2 has been active in California environmental policies since 2001 when we worked with then freshman Assembly Member Fran Pavley to help pass the Clean Cars bill - AB 1493 (see President Obama Announces a Historic Vehicle Policy).

The backdrop to our meetings was California’s growing budget deficit due to both revenues being below the forecast of just three months ago and the expected voter rejection of the May 19 ballot measures. In every meeting legislators were interested in policies that would create new jobs but many had specific questions about how policies would affect their districts.

California Cleantech Leads the Nation

Concurrent with our meetings, we released our E2 report: How California policy can accelerate economic growth and job generation through the cleantech sector. The report documents venture capital investments in California cleantech companies and the role of public policy. California companies received over $3.3B of a total $5.9B invested in North America in 2008. Cleantech is not immune to the economic slowdown, as venture capital has dropped significantly in the last two quarters. E2 argued that new industries – such as those represented by cleantech would be a significant part of the economic recovery and the future of California.

Renewable Electricity
  Photo id
  Our May 13th team consisted of Ann Notthoff, NRDC; John Cheney, Laura Shenkar; Virgil Welch, CARB; Mary Yang; our lunch speaker Karen Douglas, Chair CEC; Bob Epstein, Rick Degolia, Nicole Lederer, Chris Vargas, Tony Bernhardt, Anthony Eggert, CARB; our lunch speaker Mary Nichols, Chair CARB and Victoria Rome, NRDC. Not pictured: Lee Stein.

Bills are advancing in both the Assembly and Senate that will move California to 33% renewable electricity by 2020. E2 is supporting SB 14 (Simitian) and AB 64 (Krekorian). Both bills would achieve the 33% goal and the expectation is that the bills will eventually be merged into a single bill. California’s climate plans is counting on 21 million metric tons reduction of CO2 (13% of the required 174) coming from renewable electricity. The legislators generally support the goal but several had specific implementation questions. Some of the feedback we heard included (1) what is the cost to rate payers, (2) will some percentage of out of state renewable generation be allowed, (3) how will increased transmission be included? As the bills progress, E2 is particularly focused on the positive cost/benefit of renewables on electricity rates and on the rapid deployment of renewables that do not require new transmission infrastructure.

Water Efficiency

Water efficiency requirements are being considered this year in a bill (AB 49 by Feuer & Huffman) that is similar to last year’s efforts - AB 2175 (Laird and Feuer). We delivered a copy of the E2 support letter for AB 49 signed by 192 members of the E2 community. This bill shifts water conservation from a voluntary program and establishes water conservation as a foundational component of water management in California. AB 49 requires increased water use efficiency for both urban and agricultural users by setting per capita reduction targets of 20% by 2020 for urban use and requiring best management practices for agricultural water use but no specific reduction requirement.
"I’d be happy to continue working on AB 49. I have a personal interest in making sure CA doesn’t run out of water in my lifetime!" – David Cheng
Most legislators with agriculture in their districts said that agriculture was already efficient. There was general support from legislators from urban districts. Since agriculture uses 80% of water delivered in the state, it needs to be part of the solution.

Another water efficiency bill by Senator Wolk (SB 460) shares some common elements with AB 49 but has weaker targets and no consequences for failing to meet reduction plans. Several legislators encouraged E2 to work with Senator Wolk’s office to help merge her bill into AB 49.

Marine Life Protection Act
"We left a good impression that will be remembered after the budget crisis passes and we get back to work on the energy and water transformations that California and the country needs." – Tony Bernhardt

For the last decade, California has been implementing the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) which creates a network of marine protected areas with the goal of enhancing the productivity of the ocean (See E2’s MLPA campaign page). The North Central Coast is the most recent area under design, with the North and South Coasts following later this year. Prior to our trip, we asked our membership to endorse our support letter for the “integrated preferred alternative” which achieves a careful balance among a broad array of interests. If adopted as is or strengthened, the IPA will be a worthwhile compromise - one that protects nursery habitats and centers of productivity with minimal short-term impact on fishing or other activities. While the decision rests in the hands of the California Fish and Game Commission, we mentioned MLPA implementation to legislators who serve on the budget committee or oversee the Fish and Game commission to make sure the MLPA is supported through the budget process.

Expanding E2’s Influence
"Our team met with staffers at two Republican offices that were interested in hearing more from E2 in order to begin a stronger relationship. AB49 offers a chance for us to follow up."  – Laura Shenkar

"I am convinced that both sides of the aisle in Sacramento are serious about continuing to push California’s leadership on environmental solutions." – Bill Unger

One way to measure the influence of E2 in California is to look at legislators’ receptivity to meeting with us. Of the 65 meetings we requested, 53 meetings were accepted – which fully booked our three teams on each day. Due to term limits in California, we are constantly establishing new relationships and reconnecting with old ones where members are elected to the other House. For example, there is no one left in the Assembly that was there when we first started working in Sacramento.

There may be some encouraging news in our efforts to get more bi-partisan support for environmental/economic policies. While we try to earn bi-partisan support in all of our efforts, on major legislative efforts in the past, it has been difficult to get even one or two Republican votes. This year we developed specific strategies for our meetings with Republican members.

We focused these meeting on economic opportunities for California, discussing economic development and ways to encourage competition. We met with a broad group of Republican members – 7 from the Assembly and 6 from the Senate. Many of them are members of E3, the Republican Task Force on the Environment, Energy and the Economy that was recently created. E3 is chaired by Assembly Member Sam Blakeslee - who becomes the Minority Leader on June 1 and is someone we have worked with in the past. The stated goal of E3 is “to advance common-sense policies that will help protect California’s environment, while at the same time growing the economy and creating jobs.” Since the E3 mission is nearly identical to our own, E2 sees an opportunity for more bi-partisan collaboration and will be following up to see if we can help change some of the dynamics in Sacramento.

Next Steps
"It was really great to participate with other E2 members who used their collective voice and leveraged their hard-earned business expertise to champion the environment and economic growth. This is what E2 is all about!" – Maureen Blanc

Our goals for this year are to help pass strong renewable electricity and water efficiency standards, to advance the Marine Life Protection Act, to continue the implementation of AB 32 and to protect policies that are growing our economy from becoming victim of the budget decisions yet to be made.

To accomplish this we will continue to look for E2 members interested in assisting in Sacramento and willing to work on analysis. In particular we need to show the cost-effectiveness of renewables. If you are interested in our California Advocacy efforts, please contact Christine Luong (cluong@nrdc.org / 415.875.6100).

We wish to thank the E2 members who represented E2 so effectively in Sacramento (their names are listed under the photos in this article).

E2 Gratefully acknowledges the following administrators, legislators and staff who met with us:

Assembly Members Senate Members
Tom Ammiano (D - San Francisco) Elaine Alquist (D – Santa Clara) (staff)
Juan Arambula (D - Fresno) (staff) Roy Ashburn (R - Bakersfield) (staff)
Karen Bass (D - Los Angeles) (staff) Ellen Corbett (D - San Leandro) (staff)
Bill Berryhill (R - Stockton) Dave Cox (R - Fair Oaks)
Tom Berryhill (R - Modesto) (staff) Mark DeSaulnier (D – Antioch)
Sam Blakeslee (R - San Luis Obispo) (staff) Denise Moreno Ducheny (D - San Diego) (staff)
Robert Blumenfield (D - Van Nuys) Loni Hancock (D - Berkeley)
Julia Brownley (D - Santa Monica) Dennis Hollingsworth (R - Murrieta) (staff)
Joan Buchanan (D - San Ramon) (staff) Christine Kehoe (D - San Diego)
Anna Marie Caballero (D - Salinas) (staff) Mark Leno (D – San Francisco)
Wilmer Amina Carter (D - Rialto) Carol Liu (D - Pasadena) (staff)
Wesley Chesbro (D - Eureka) Alan Lowenthal (D – Long Beach)
Kevin de León (D - Los Angeles) (staff) Abel Maldonado (R - Santa Maria)
Mike Duvall (R - Brea) Alex Padilla (D - Pacoima)
Bill Emmerson (R - Redlands) Fran Pavley (D - Santa Monica)
Mike Eng (D - Monterey Park) (staff) Joe Simitian (D - Palo Alto)
Mike Feuer (D - Los Angeles) Darrell Steinberg (D - Sacramento) (staff)
Paul Fong (D - Mountain View) Tony Strickland (R - Thousand Oaks)
Felipe Fuentes (D – Los Angeles) Patricia Wiggins (D – Santa Rosa) (staff)
Jerry Hill (D – South San Francisco) Lois Wolk (D - Linden) (staff)
Alyson Huber (D - Lodi) (staff)  
Jared Huffman (D - San Rafael) Administration
Paul Krekorian (D - Burbank) Mike Chrisman - Secretary, Natural Resources
Bonnie Lowenthal (D - Long Beach) Karen Douglas - Chair, California Energy Commission
Fiona Ma (D - San Francisco) (staff) Mary Nichols - Chair, Air Resources Board
Bill Monning (D - Santa Cruz)  
Pedro Nava (D - Santa Barbara) (staff)
John Pérez (D - Los Angeles) (staff)
V. Manuel Pérez (D – Cathedral City) (staff)
Ira Ruskin (D - Redwood City)
Mary Salas (D - Chula Vista) (staff)
Nancy Skinner (D – Berkeley)
Cameron Smyth (R - Santa Clarita) (staff)
Sandré Swanson (D - Oakland) (staff)
Alberto Torrico (D - Fremont) (staff)
Michael Villines (R – Clovis) (staff)
Mariko Yamada (D - Davis) (staff)

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