Are California's Green Laws Killing Jobs?

California republicans are arguing that the state's environmental laws are hurting the economy. This editorial from the Los Angeles Times questions the wisdom of that argument and wonders what negative impacts would come from lifting CEQA.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office recently released a report stating that the California Environmental Quality Act could be costing the state jobs, but other reports have shown that the state's new environmental and carbon emission-cutting rules will actually create jobs.

"The Legislative Analyst's Office is right about one thing: It's almost impossible to predict what's going to happen to the economy a decade down the road. Advocates on both sides of the climate-change debate tend to cite figures that are based on highly suspicious studies, with conservatives generally exaggerating the economic costs and environmentalists downplaying them. What's certain is that curbs on emissions will produce winners and losers. Polluting industries will face higher expenses and will doubtless cut jobs, while new 'green' industries will emerge to replace them. Energy costs will rise but energy efficiency will improve."

Full Story: Going green vs. going broke



Sorry, Survival Just Doesn't Pencil....

Simply astonishing. After all, Californians can look to the sterling examples of being plucked clean by Enron and its co-conspirators and the smoking economic landscape left by the derivatives debacle to see how very well deregulation has paved the way to a thriving economy here. 'Next thing you know, some Lassez-faire Op-Ed piece will steal a few beats from 'Darkness at Noon' and accuse Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini of being 'secret wreckers' whose very thoughts somehow undermined the historic inevitability and apotheosis of the Invisible Hand and the Chicago School...

I'd opine more, but I have to check whether my home county has joined the eight others in California already experiencing +20% unemployment.

Nice goverment gestures...

Since when did we start trusting the government? " Don't worry the government will fix it" Ha... Name something the US government hasn't screwed up.
It is nice they are making the gesture of passing all these rules and regulations to clean the environment. Problem is more and more companies decide that it is just too expensive to stay in this state (CA.) and the USA. They then move their businesses to 3rd world developing nations with little or no employment whose governments are overjoyed to have jobs and don't have any environmental regulations. They build factories with no emissions controls, no sewage discharge protections and no groundwater protections.
What have we accomplished overall?
We have gone backwards. We have taken businesses that have historically complied with pollution laws here and either forced them out of business or to stay afloat forced them to move to other countries that have no rules, resulting in even MORE pollution than before. If it costs 5 million dollars to move to say, Poland, but 10 million dollars to comply with new carbon regulations, I would move too. Just as if the landlord raised the rent too high.
Until the laws truly reach world wide you are chasing your tail passing more laws. The only ones that will suffer are the ones in the USA until these other countries realise that they can't breathe or drink the water... like it or not money makes the world go round, there won't be any money left here to support causes, environmental or otherwise...

Same old corporate argument.

This is a well-constructed editorial. We see Carrizo didn't read it, and their argument was pre-bunked by the LAT:

    California Republicans see the state's 12%-plus unemployment rate as an opportunity to undermine consumer protection, workplace safety and environmental laws they've chafed at for years. In the name of producing jobs, they have proposed bills to end eight-hour workday rules, limit consumer lawsuits against manufacturers and eliminate environmental reviews for major developments. (Never mind that the current recession and resulting joblessness were caused not by such government regulation, but the failure of government to properly regulate the financial industry.) Now they're sponsoring a ballot measure to suspend implementation of AB 32 until the state's unemployment rate falls to 5.5% or below for at least a year.

    This may be their most destructive effort yet. For 40 years, California has been a pioneer in environmental protection, developing measures that have later been adopted nationwide -- to the enormous benefit of our country's air, water, land and public health.

[emphasis added]

So no, things such as AB 32 aren't killing jobs. It is merely a talking point.



Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.

Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Planetizen Courses image ad

Looking for the perfect last-minute gift?

A one-year subscription to Planetizen Courses is the gift that will continue giving all year long.