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Google & Khosla: If AB32 Dies, So Goes CA's Greentech Market

If California’s climate change bill AB32 — which was passed back in 2006 and creates a plan to reduce the state’s carbon emissions — is repealed, California’s greentech markets will be seriously jeopardized, said venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Google’s (s GOOG) Green Energy Czar Bill Weihl at an event at Google HQ on Tuesday morning. The main theme for the Google event was a discussion of Proposition 23, a ballot measure that, if passed on the upcoming November ballot, would essentially kill AB32, and is backed by Texas-based oil companies Valero and Tesoro.

Khosla stated his position clearly on the oil-backed ballot measure: “Prop 23 will kill the market and the single largest source of job creation in California in the last two years.” Innovation started happening in California, and the next ten Googles of greentech will be created there, because the market is there, he said. If California’s market is destroyed, countries like China and other states will have a competitive edge and those next ten Googles will be built in those markets, said Khosla.

Google’s Weihl agreed and said that AB32 has helped create companies and jobs and has been one of the brightest spots in the economy in the state. While many studies and researchers back this position, other conflicting studies have also found that AB32 could reduce the number of jobs (which is the fear that Prop 23 is tapping into). Think about AB32 as a 401K, said Khosla, you put aside a little bit month by month, but over time you save a whole lot. “It’s an investment in our future.”

Weihl also noted that, in addition to maintaining AB32 in California, the federal government needs to increase its spending on basic energy research and development, as well as scaling of energy projects. While the stimulus has created a temporary market, the greentech market needs permanent funding over a ten-year period to move forward, said Weihl. Both Khosla and Weihl said that the federal government also needs to focus on funding “home runs” and breakthroughs, instead of funding incremental technology gains.

As Khosla put it: “Right now California is in the pole position to win the greentech race. .  . It is our race to lose.”

For more research on cleantech financing check out GigaOM Pro (subscription required):

Cleantech Financing Trends: 2010 & Beyond

4 Responses to “Google & Khosla: If AB32 Dies, So Goes CA's Greentech Market”

  1. Mr Khosla is wrong on the “single” largest growth in jobs in California in the last two years. There is NO growth (look at the numbers of 14+% unemployment) except GOVERNMENT jobs which produce NOTHING. California may be the innovator of new technologies, but as has been proven time and time again, it is cheaper to PRODUCE outside the State of Country, because of the high taxes, regulations, and the general anti-business climate. Just look at what happened in Oregon, who touted “green” jobs. Look at Spain which embraced “green jobs” and both these areas have lost jobs , not gained. For every “green job” created in every other place that has tried it, there has been a loss of over 10 jobs in other industries or companies.

  2. Charlie Peters

    Arnold, BAR & CARB using AB 2289 Eng to cut green collar jobs?

    If an elected official would request a copy of the Sierra Research SR 2007-04-01 report and all communication about the report from CCEEB, CED, CARB, DCA/BAR, IMRC, Parsons, SGS Testcom & Sierra Research it might help improve performance of Smog Check…. “Sherry Mehl. The report has been modified since 2001. Continually”

  3. AB 32 The Global Warming Solutions Act is a great vehicle for fleecing the public with “clean energy” solutions, cap and trade, more taxes, and stifling regulation of every aspect of the lives of the public. The latter will be an Orwellian tyranny like in 1984.

    The Green Fleecers are promoting many products and ideas that could not compete in the market place, and so they fleece the public with higher costs for electricity of inferior quality that in any event requires thermal power for backup, for delivery of power.

    If AB 32 had any reliable scientific support that would be one thing. However, as demonstrated by climategate and hundreds of subsequent investigations there is no scientific basis for AB32, which relies almost completely on the anthropogenic global warming theory which falsely incriminates CO2 as the main cause of warming. In fact the main cause is natural acyclic warming and cooling and has been for thousands of years.

    The shameful behavior of our federal and state agencies and the British CRU in promoting the CO2 scam by tuning the data to conform to their theory is reprehensible, if not criminal fraud. This violence to sanity has been further augmented by the fleecers who perceive opportunity for profit through promotion of government tyranny.

    The only thing wrong with Proposition 23, the California Jobs Initiative, is that, in this writer’s opinion, it does not go far enough. It allows for the future implementation of AB 32 after state unemployment gets back down to 5.5 percent from its present level of 12.5 percent. As I see it, AB 32 should be killed in its entirety.

    Be that as it may, Proposition 23 will cause the green fleecer battalions to pause and rethink what they are doing. Many of them are betting on a dead horse, the false CO2 theory. Why invest in technologies that have no scientific basis and are doomed to fail when it becomes widely known that they are an order of magnitude more costly to the public than the alternatives and not near as good for an industrial /post-industrial economy? Why create green jobs that will have to be dumped when it is found they are founded in mid-air. Look at what happened to the wind-power industry in the ‘90s when public subsidy was withdrawn. It crashed.

    AB 32 is like a jet flying at 40,000 feet that suddenly ran out of fuel, due to a massive fuel leak called Climategate. It will inevitably crash to the ground. Proposition 23 will make it a gentler crash, and some of the would-have-been fleecers may survive by switching to endeavors that are competitive in the marketplace.

  4. Earl Richards

    The California Jobs Initiative (CJI) is an oil corporation farce and fraud. There is no connection, whatsoever, between greenhouse gas emission reduction and the loss of jobs. This notion is an insult to the intelligence of the people of California. In fact, there is growth in the clean, renewable energy industry. Chevron employs 65,000 worldwide and CJI is not going to change this. The only jobs created by the oil industry are clean-up jobs after oil spills and deep water, blow-outs and pump-handler jobs. CJI will make fantastic profits for the oil industry, increase air pollution, especially in communities around their refineries, and there will not be lower gas prices. Both Valero and Tesoro are super Enrons.