PLUG OK license plate
Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Sen. Feinstein for PHEVs
Aug 30, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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The Silicon Valley Leadership Group started out as the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group; Founded by David Packard in 1977, it changed its name in 2005 to reflect its broader constituencies. Its 200+ members employ over 250,000 people (1/4 of the area's workforce) and generate over $1 trillion of business. See­. It's great to see awareness of PHEVs expand further in the Bay Area.

Carl Guardino is SVLG's CEO. This week, as the fate of AB32, The Global Warming Solultions Act, is being determined in final negotiations in Sacramento (the legislature adjourns Friday), he wrote the Op-Ed below for the San Jose Mercury News.

This comes days after California's Senator Diane Feinstein's speech on energy at the Commonwealth Club, text reprinted in the San Franicsoco Chroncile on August 25, at­cgi-bin/­article.cgi?file=/­chronicle/­archive/­2006/­08/­25/­MNdifitext25.DTL. Brief excerpts:

...there are two ways to reduce transportation emissions. 1. improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles. 2. move away from oil and gasoline-based fuels and toward alternatives.
I have introduced legislation that would require the mileage for all cars, pick-up trucks, and SUVs be increased from 25 to 35 miles per gallon over the next 10 years. Twelve Senators have cosponsored the legislation.
The other side of the coin is alternative fuels. As long as our nation continues its addiction to oil, we cannot sufficiently slow the warming trend. Rather, we quickly need to get up and running on developing new, clean technologies and alternative fuels. This includes the electric plug-in hybrid, bio-diesel fuels, hydrogen power, and E-85 made from cellulosic ethanol.­mld/­mercurynews/­news/­opinion/­15395890.htm A vote of support for state bill to limit greenhouse gases By Carl Guardino

In California, green is gold.

Whether enacting world-class recycling programs, protecting and preserving open space or preventing offshore oil drilling, California has demonstrated that when we work together we can carefully craft public policies that enhance our environment while improving our economy.

That is why the Silicon Valley Leadership Group supports the passage of AB 32 to reduce the use of greenhouse gases, dry up our dependence on foreign oil and curb climate change.

Carbon dioxide, the most plentiful of the manmade greenhouse gases, is produced by power plants, automobiles, residential and commercial building components and manufacturing equipment. The two largest sources of carbon dioxide are transportation (contributing to one-third of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions) and electric generation (comprising 38 percent of CO2 emissions).

We believe the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will work together to iron out differences and pass a law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This landmark legislation would serve as a model and standard for other states, the nation and the international community.

We know the risks of inaction and the rewards of action:

Dependence on foreign oil: We import 2.5 million barrels of oil each day from unstable regions such as the Persian Gulf. As Sen. Dianne Feinstein recently wrote, improving gas mileage in the United States by just 10 miles per gallon over the next decade can save that same amount.

The impact of climate change: In California, an average temperature increase of just 1 to 2 degrees over the next 50 years will increase electricity demand by 3 percent and further shrink the Sierra Nevada snowpack by as much as 30 percent.

While the risks are well-known, the opportunities abound: In the area of transportation, plug-in hybrid cars can be charged in standard electric outlets and driven the first 20 miles on battery power alone. Consider that half of the cars now on the road are driven fewer than 20 miles each day. A plug-in could make a trip to the gas station a rare event.

It is time to act. We need the Legislature to send the governor a final bill that accomplishes the following:

Set quantifiable, achievable and ambitious goals: AB 32 accomplishes this. It aims to avert and reduce emissions by 145 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents between now and 2020. This would avoid the use of more than 15 billion gallons of gas, which, at $3.10 per gallon, would be a savings of $47 billion over the next 13 years.

Specify mandatory market mechanisms, rather than only allowing for their consideration. The language of AB 32 must recognize that energy supply disruptions outside of our control are possible. In the case of a major disaster, rebuilding California could take more than a year.

Embrace the Clean Air Act. Currently, AB 32 does not have the same ``cost effectiveness'' definition of the Clean Air Act, which has withstood court challenges and provides solid judicial precedent. This should be an easy, but essential, adjustment.

There are some in the business community who vigorously oppose AB 32. They believe that it will harm our economy and risk California jobs. We respectfully disagree. Consider that Venture Capitol funding in ``clean technology'' in 2005 alone exceeded $1.6 billion, with three of every 10 dollars invested in California companies. These new start-ups are anticipated to create nearly 50,000 to 75,000 new jobs by 2011. Yes, there is gold in being green.

Schwarzenegger, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nez and Senate President Don Perata have made great strides in working together on major issues like the infrastructure bonds to re-build California, passing a state budget in a timely fashion, and increasing the minimum wage. Tackling the threat of greenhouse gases would not only address a major concern of most Californians, but it would also show that Sacramento is serious about bipartisan solutions that are good for our economy and our environment.

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