Here’s Sierra Business Council President Steve Frisch’s rebuttal opposing Prop. 23, providing the “other side” to George Rebane’s KVMR commentary last week. Steve’s opinion was aired on KVMR tonight. George’s commentary, “Is Prop. 23 relevant to Nevada County” is here. Steve’s, which he graciously forwarded, is below.
Those of you who followed the dialog here from the weekend — what we call “inside the sausage factory” in the newsroom — can understand the somewhat thankless job of being an Editor. You raise the issue of getting both sides and get hit with a dose of defensiveness (Paul Emery), “how dare you” question KVMR’s journalistic integrity (Bob Crabb) even personal attacks (George Rebane and Russ Steele). From Steve’s standpoint, I’m sure he will keep a Prop. 23 “op ed” in the hopper and be even more proactive going forward. As for me, I’m happy to be eating some ice cream while blogging. Thanks to all for making this happen. The community will really benefit from the two-way discussion ahead of the county supervisors being asked to endorse Prop. 23.
“Four years ago California passed a clean air law that holds polluters accountable and requires them to reduce air pollution that threatens human health and contributes to global climate change. Today two Texas oil companies are spending millions to push Proposition 23, a deceptive measure that would gut California clean technology and energy investments, kill jobs, create more air pollution, and increase our dependence on foreign oil.
The Clean Tech and Energy sector of California’s economy is outperforming the rest of our economy by about 4-1. California’s clean tech sector received $9 billion in venture capital investment between 2005 and 2009, more than 5 times the investment of our closest competing state. There are more than 12,000 Clean Tech companies in California who employ more than 500,000 workers. Many of these jobs are being created in the Sierra Nevada, through growing investments in energy efficiency, solar installation, and biomass, wind and geothermal energy. A budding domestic manufacturing sector—good, clean, high paying, benefit generating jobs—is being created. If we roll back our clean energy standards California will lose hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment to other states, or to China, our closest international competitor. Proposition 23 will kill jobs by eliminating the incentives and investments that can fuel our economic recovery.
Air pollution is a major threat to public health in California, with alarming rates of asthma and lung disease, especially amongst children. 1 in 6 California children have asthma, or the precursors to asthma, costing more than $500 million a year. Each year California’s air pollution crises, which we see here in Nevada County as ozone and particulate alerts, contribute to thousands of premature deaths, trips to the hospital, and huge public health costs. Proposition 23 will let the Texas oil companies and other polluters off the hook—drastically increasing public health costs, and making you pay the price. That’s why proposition 23 is strongly opposed by the American Lung Association and AARP.
Proposition 23 will increase dependence on oil and coal, and increase costs to California consumers. The tragic oil spill in the gulf has reinforced our understanding that we must move to clean sources of energy to reduce our dependence on costly, dirty oil. This event, coupled with the billions of dollars a year we spend protecting international oil supplies, in essence subsidizing oil through foreign wars, should be enough to convince us that our pocketbooks, and national security, depend upon developing clean domestic supplies of energy.
Finally, Proposition 23 is a deceptive measure, funded by out of state oil companies, whose California properties are amongst the biggest polluters in our State. They want you to think that Proposition 23 would merely suspend our clean air laws, but it will kill them, and the economic opportunity they are creating. These are the same folks who brought us Enron and its
billions of dollars of cost to consumers in California.
Nevada County voters should not be fooled. Our future of clean energy is ahead of us, driving innovation and prosperity for our residents. Proposition 23 is a job killer that will halt that future in its tracks. Please vote no on proposition 23.
My name is Steve Frisch, I am the President of the Sierra Business Council, representing more than 700 businesses in our region. These opinions are not necessarily shared by KVMR. Thanks for listening.