Boxer, Fiorina have opposing views on green jobs

July 20, 2010 8:05:39 PM PDT
Republican Carly Fiorina calls it a job killer, while Democrat Barbara Boxer claims the state's global warming law is actually creating jobs, so which is it? How about a fact check?

Fiorina was in Los Altos Tuesday talking about how overregulation is driving businesses out of the state. And on Monday, Boxer at a solar instillation plant in Foster City said the state's climate change regulation is actually responsible for bringing jobs in.

Fiorina repeated a story she often tells on about an entrepreneur she met early in her campaign.

"He told me he had built a factory in the Ukraine. In six months he was three years into a permitting process here in California," said Fiornia.

She cites it as an example of California regulations driving jobs from the state.

"...and right now we are making it harder. That's what ever piece of data says," said Fiorina.

But Boxer cities data claiming exactly the opposite.

"The Pew Charitable Trust, that's an independent foundation," said Boxer.

Boxer told a solar power company in Foster City that the Pew trust found the green job sector in California added 10,000 new companies and added 25,000 new jobs over a 10-year period.

"And that is 15 percent quicker job generation than the California economy as a whole," said Boxer.

Is she right? Phyllis Cuttino is director of the climate and energy program at the Pew Charitable Trust.

"Clearly clean energy jobs are growing at a faster rate than jobs in the overall economy and we found that not only in California, but also across the nation," said Cuttino.

Cuttino says energy policies that promote green jobs are a benefit to job growth, but the Pew trust did not look at the specific effects of AB 32, nor at Fiorina's claim that repealing the measure would lead to more jobs.

However, in Sacramento the non partisan legislative analyst office did just that.

"So relative to the overall all size of the economy, the impact on jobs was relatively modest. It would be negative in the near term, but relatively modest given the overall size of the economy," said Mark Newton, director of resources and environmental protection at the legislative analyst's office.

He says over the long term, green job growth might overtake job losses, but it's not certain and certainly not what the candidates are saying on the campaign trail.

"The truth is we are losing more jobs everyday in this state," said Fiornia.

"I have disproved it right here, today. The Pew Charitable Trust disproves it," said Boxer.

ABC7 thought we might be able to shed some light on this issue if we could talk with the entrepreneur that Fiorina so often mentions, the one who couldn't get a solar components factory built in California because of the regulations, but we can't talk with him because Fiorina's campaign isn't able to give ABC7 his name or the name of his business.

Also on Tuesday, the Legislative Analyst's Office posted its findings on Proposition 23. That's the November ballot measure to repeal AB 32.


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