Latest Analysis: California’s Push for Clean Energy and Climate Policy Good for Economy

On Wednesday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released an updated economic analysis that forecasts robust economic growth as the state continues implementing AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

“This analysis confirms what economists have been saying all along: that full implementation of the (AB 32) Scoping Plan is the right choice for California to make an affordable transition to a clean energy economy,” said CARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “It supports continued economic growth and sets us on a course for greater energy security and less dependence on petroleum.”

Jasmin Ansar, a climate economist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, described CARB’s analysis as “the most thorough examination of AB 32 to date,” which builds upon a growing body of research showing that clean energy and climate policies will protect the environment and the economy.

While the new analysis identifies important economic gains – including cost savings of $3.8 billion in reduced consumption of gasoline and diesel from increased investment in energy efficiency and cleaner fuels – it didn’t explore the full array of benefits, including reduced health care costs from cleaner air, greater protection from volatile fossil fuel prices, and avoided impacts of climate change.

The results are further proof of the danger California faces from Texas oil companies’ efforts to suspend AB 32. The analysis shows that limiting requirements for oil companies or utilities would increase costs and shift economic burdens to small businesses.