SACRAMENTO (September 26, 2012) On September 20 at a public hearing of the California Air Resources Board in Sacramento, representatives of the BlueGreen Alliance — including members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 675 who work at refineries in California — testified in favor of the implementation of the cap-and-trade component of AB32, the state’s landmark climate change and clean energy jobs law. Some media outlets, including a syndicated news service and a major Los Angeles newspaper, misidentified the USW workers as opponents. The following is a statement from BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster and United Steelworkers District 12 Director Bob LaVenture correcting the record:
“Last week, the USW joined with the BlueGreen Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to provide testimony to the California Air Resources Board in support of the implementation of the cap-and-trade program on January 1, 2013. We believe this component of AB32 will create good jobs in California, preserve the competitiveness of CA industries, reduce emissions, and ensure future generations of Californians a better economic and environmental future.
“We also believe that California must remain steadfast in its commitment under AB32 to prevent the leakage of jobs to other states by maintaining a level playing field with out-of-state refiners. Petroleum products imported into the state must be subject to the same compliance costs as if they were produced in California. This will provide certainty to businesses and workers in California that their investments in energy efficiency and carbon reduction will not be undercut by out-of-state competitors. Unlike AB 32 critics at the hearing pushing for even more free allowances, our coalition of the USW, the NRDC and the BlueGreen Alliance expressed strong support for a cap-and-trade program that ensures revenues are available to invest in industrial energy efficiency and other clean energy strategies that provide both emission reductions and cost savings.
“We will continue to work with the California Air Resources Board to ensure that AB32 is implemented in a manner that achieves the state’s emission reduction goals, maintains high-quality jobs in California, and creates new jobs in the growing clean energy and energy efficiency sectors.”
The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy. Launched in 2006, the strategic partnership now brings together major U.S. labor unions and America’s most influential environmental organizations and unites more than 15 million members and supporters in pursuit of good jobs, a clean environment and a green economy. Visit www.bluegreenalliance.org.