Entrepreneurs need smart legislation in place that will help them cut costs and continue to serve as the backbone of our economy. The proposed SB 32 and SB 350 bills in California are examples of clean energy legislation that can do just that by reducing carbon pollution and driving clean energy investment. If these bills pass they promise to help small businesses by cutting energy costs, promoting private investment in new energy technologies and strengthening our economy.
SB 32 and SB 350 are complementary bills that will work together to promote economic benefits from clean energy. SB 32 will set a climate pollution reduction target for California to reach 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, while SB 350 will help the state achieve that goal by setting new standards for California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to increase clean energy usage. SB 350 will also increase energy efficiency in buildings and reduce petroleum use in cars and trucks.
One of the biggest benefits of SB 32 and SB 350 is that they will reduce energy costs by improving energy efficiency in buildings. For many small business owners, high electricity bills can be a huge burden – but energy efficiency measures can help reduce these costs so small businesses can focus on hiring and growing. Energy efficiency standards have saved California an impressive $66 billion since 1978, and SB 32 and SB 350 will amplify these savings. Improved energy efficiency standards – which currently save 200 million gallons of water per year – will also further improve water conservation so small businesses can operate economically during our drought.
In addition to reducing energy costs for small businesses, SB 32 and SB 350 will drive private investments in energy technology and create jobs. California is already a global leader in clean energy with more than 430,000 jobs in the industry; if passed, SB 32 and SB 350 will create an additional one million middle class clean energy jobs. More jobs means increased spending at small businesses and an overall stronger economy. Similarly, California has benefitted from $27 billion in private investments since the passage of clean energy legislation in 2006. This private investment will increase under SB 32 and SB 350 so that small businesses can innovate and invest in cutting edge energy technologies.
Given these advantages, it’s little surprise that small business support for clean energy initiatives is vast. Scientific opinion polling from Small Business Majority found 87 percent of business owners believe improving clean energy innovation and efficiency are good ways to increase prosperity for small business through job creation and cost savings. Furthermore, 63 percent agree the expanded use of renewable energy sources can help small businesses lower their utility bills and provide new business opportunities for entrepreneurs.
It’s time for California lawmakers to stand up for stronger energy standards by supporting SB 32 and SB 350. These bills will revitalize innovation in clean energy technology, reduce energy costs and create a strong business climate for entrepreneurs. Simply put, SB 32 and SB 350 are good for small businesses, good for California and good for the economy as a whole.
Pepi Jackson, President
Riverside County BCC