California likes to tout itself as the green leader of the free world, an example the rest of the country should follow to achieve a clean energy future. For years now, California leaders have tried to impose extreme environmental measures on the state. For example, California has long sought a waiver from the EPA to impose tougher emissions standards in the state. The EPA is currently reviewing California’s waiver, which, if granted, will allow the state to set higher standards for car and truck exhaust emissions. Moreover, California has imposed a mandate requiring 20% of all its electricity be produced from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources by 2010, with an increase to 33% by 2020.
With less than a year to go, however, it appears that California’s renewable energy mandate is destined for failure. As documented by this initiative (www.projectnoproject.com), numerous renewable energy projects across California and the U.S. are being delayed, blocked, litigated or killed by radical environmentalists and their Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) allies. These are the same groups that are promoting clean energy but acting locally to stop the projects that would reduce carbon emissions and create jobs.
in the last few years 18 energy projects in California have been blocked, delayed, and/or killed because of regulatory obstacles and NIMBY opposition. Together these projects are valued at over $9 billion and would create well over 2,000 jobs.
California is broke. California has a $24 billion budget deficit for the coming fiscal year, the nation’s worst. The situation is so bad that Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed releasing thousands of prisoners early and closing more than 200 state parks. It was recently reported that the budget crisis threatens to further weaken the state’s job market, which lost 63,700 more jobs last month. The state’s overall unemployment rate just grew from 11% to 11.2%. These new job losses forecast prolonged economic despair. California’s budget crisis also threatens to devastate the California public school system. Deep budget cuts are forcing California school districts to lay off thousands of teachers, expand class sizes, close schools, eliminate bus service, cancel school programs, and possibly shorten the academic year.
At a time when California is facing an 11.2% unemployment rate and a budget deficit of $24 billion, now is not the time to allow NIMBY mentality and obstructionism to prevail over renewable energy entrepreneurship and development that will not only stimulate the economy and put Californians back to work, but also help the state meet its renewable energy goals.
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