Prop 23 Could Kill Green Business - NBC Bay Area

Prop 23 Could Kill Green Business



    Prop 23 Could Kill Green Business
    Make Politicians and Polluters Clean Up Their Own Mess

    The Bay Area's been a nurturing environment for green energy firms -- but that could all change if two oil companies get their way with Prop 23.

    The measure would roll back the state's climate protection laws, which require greenhouse gas cuts. Its main fiscal sponsors are Tesoro and Valero, two Texas oil companies.

    Clean air laws are bad news for the fossil fuel industry, but they've given a boost to more sustainable technologies like solar, wind and biofuel. About $11.6 billion has been spend on clean-tech in the last four years, according to one study.

    Prop 23 would be particularly bad for companies just entering the market, as it could stifle hiring and slow construction. That's making some analysis nervous, since job growth has been slow in the Bay Area. Unemployment only recently started dwindling.

    It's not just the clean-energy industry that stands to lose out if Prop 23 passes. The state could lose income as well, as new firms relocate or decide to avoid California altogether. After years of working hard to establish a reputation as a friendly state for clean air, it could take years to undo the damage.