Unions, Venture Capitalists, Solar Industry Urge Californians to Vote No on Prop 23

Citing California's leadership in clean energy investments and the need to solve the state's job crisis, union leaders, solar energy industry officials, and leading venture capitalists today came together to urge Californians to vote no on Prop 23.

October 14, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA – Citing California’s national leadership in clean energy investments and the need to solve the state’s job crisis, union leaders, solar energy industry officials, and leading venture capitalists today came together to urge Californians to vote no on Proposition 23, an effort to repeal California’s clean air and clean energy standards.

“California’s clean air and clean energy law is the reason why the state’s renewable energy sector is drawing large-scale investment and creating good jobs – now is not the time to halt this tremendous economic growth,” said David Foster, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations. “Voting no on Prop 23 is the right thing to do to create jobs, to protect the environment and public health, and to move California’s economy forward.”

“The U.S. solar industry is poised for record growth in 2010 and much of that growth is in California,” said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “But this momentum is at risk as fossil fuel companies pour money into California to pass Prop 23. It would cost California hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic development. We have spent years building the solar industry in California. It is critical that Californians vote down Prop 23 and continue growing its clean energy economy.”

Proposition 23 would effectively repeal the state’s clean air and clean energy standards law, which is expected to create more than 100,000 jobs in the state and drive investment in the state’s clean-tech sector. From 2005-2009, the state’s clean tech sector received $9 billion in venture capital investment, including $2.1 billion in 2009, which is 60 percent of North America’s total investment.

“California’s clean energy standards are key for attracting the kinds of venture capital investments that will jumpstart the clean energy sector in the United States,” said Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner at DBL Investors. “Proposition 23 would result in a chilling effect on clean-tech investments in California and its negative effect would be felt around the world.”

“We have come together today – a broad group of industry leaders and participants – to say that California’s clean air and clean energy law is key to growing California’s economy, creating good jobs, and putting California on the global map for clean energy investment,” said Marty Lagod, Vice-Chair of the Clean Economy Network and Firelake Capital Partner. “Proposition 23 will take our state backwards and effectively halt this positive economic growth.”

Local union leaders said today that California’s clean air and clean energy law is preserving and helping to create jobs during this economic downturn and that Proposition 23 would harm the state’s – and the nation’s – ability to attract investment and create jobs in the production of clean energy technologies. “Proposition 23 will damage our state’s ability to grow a strong, vibrant clean energy sector and to create and secure jobs for manufacturing workers and others hit hard by the current employment crisis,” said Chris Youngmark, Assistant to the Director for United Steelworkers District 12. “Other countries are already taking the lead in clean energy – and creating the jobs that come with it – and we can’t afford to take another step backwards at this critical time.”


About the BlueGreen Alliance
The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the clean energy economy. Launched by the United Steelworkers and Sierra Club in 2006, the BlueGreen Alliance now includes the Communications Workers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Laborers’ International Union of North America, National Wildlife Federation, Service Employees International Union, Union of Concerned Scientists, Utility Workers Union of America, American Federation of Teachers, Amalgamated Transit Union, the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association and United Auto Workers. For more information, visit

About the Solar Energy Industries Association
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is working to build a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.

About the Clean Economy Network
The Clean Economy Network (CEN) is the largest national networking, educational, and advocacy organization shaping a new economy based on clean technology and innovation. Our members are professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers who connect to each other, learn information relevant to business and professional growth, and influence public policies that impact the clean economy. The Clean Economy Network currently has more than 10,000 members and 17 chapters across the United States and Canada, as well as 30,000 members from around the globe in its social networking group on LinkedIn. For more information, visit

Paid for by the BlueGreen Alliance Committee Against Proposition 23 Supported by Labor Unions and Environmentalists.