Photo: Lance Cheung, Flickr, CC BY
The beating back of Prop 23 -- the oil company-sponsored bid to repeal California's trailblazing climate law -- was one of the few bright spots for environmentally-minded folks in last year's midterm elections. A coalition lead by a Republican secretary of state and a Democratic hedge fund financier was partly responsible for the success; they managed to rouse the support of everyone from Silicon Valley venture capitalists to minority rights groups, and brought out enough voters to defeat the Prop by a solid 61%. Now, they're going to channel that power towards growing green jobs and clean energy in California. The New York Times reports:
George P. Shultz, the Republican former secretary of state, and Thomas F. Steyer, the Democratic hedge fund billionaire, are reviving the coalition that campaigned last year to defeat Proposition 23, the California ballot measure that would have derailed the state's' landmark global warming law. Their new organization, Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, will push for greater investment in green technology and the enforcement of the global warming law, known as A.B. 32, according to Mr. Steyer, founder of Farallon Capital Management in San Francisco.Which is good news -- if there's something political environmental leadership can always use, it's strong leaders and better organization. There are many who still believe that a more robust push for investment in clean tech could create a jobs boom -- I know everyone's worried about the deficit and collective bargaining rights at the moment, but we're still in the midst of an unemployment crisis, y'know.
As such, Steyer announced the following at a press conference last week:"We're going to be fighting to make sure it is implemented in a way that not just creates businesses here, but the jobs stay here, and we get the kind of growth that will show the country that this way of thinking is intensely practical and real world."
Intensely practical is right. With so many people out of work, it's crazy to be focusing so much on the deficit. And with carbon emissions continuing to spew unabated from industrial complexes across the nation, it's crazy not to be focusing on deploying clean energy. Let's hope that the coalition, so successful before, can do as well when not in direct opposition of two unpopular out-of-state oil companies.