David Foster is executive director at the BlueGreen Alliance, 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 Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers in 2006, the BlueGreen Alliance now includes the Communications Workers of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Service Employees International Union, National Wildlife Federation, Laborers' International Union of North America, Union of Concerned Scientists, Utility Workers Union of America, American Federation of Teachers, Amalgamated Transit Union, Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, and the United Auto Workers.
When you boil it down, Proposition 39 is actually easy to understand. The ballot measure would simply close a tax loophole that incentivizes California companies to create jobs elsewhere. The money saved would help balance California’s budget, and it would be invested in clean energy and energy efficiency projects that will create good jobs.
Every Californian will benefit from this proposition. Construction workers will see good jobs retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency and expanding clean energy infrastructure. Consumers will realize savings from declining energy demand. Investors will have the opportunity to participate in new energy innovation. And all Californians will share in the environmental benefits and reduced carbon emissions that cause climate change.
Taking full advantage of California’s depressed economy, a handful of out-of-state oil tycoons are trying to dupe working people into voting against their economic interests by supporting Prop 23, a ballot initiative that would overturn the state’s job-creating global warming law. It’s a brazen move bankrolled largely by Valero, Tesoro and Koch Industries to further enrich themselves while preventing Californians – including hard-hit construction and manufacturing workers and more than 2 million unemployed throughout the state – from realizing the immense economic benefits of a clean energy economy.