Viewing blog posts written by Dorothy Rothrock


California’s MFG competitiveness will be well served by cap and trade

Posted by Dorothy Rothrock, President on May 3, 2018

Last summer’s extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program provided the best available path to protect manufacturing jobs and control the costs of meeting the state’s mandated climate change goals. The alternative, an excessively harsh command and control program, would have forced businesses to make drastic changes in their operations and would have imposed strict regulations without any flexibility in implementation.

The result would have meant increased costs to consumers and the loss of more manufacturing jobs in the state. In fact, according to CARB’s own analysis, the alternative would have resulted in increased costs across all sectors of the economy and significant increases in fuel costs to consumers. Fuel costs for the overall economy would have been 6 times higher without the deal.

Bipartisan legislative support of AB 398 ensured an improved cap-and-trade program with tax cuts, cost containment measures, and significant bureaucracy reduction that will control costs for all Californians. These elements of the cap and trade deal, fought for by Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes and other legislative leaders, will ease the burden of businesses working to comply with the law by preserving a market-based approach and operational flexibility.

There were only two choices last summer: draconian command and control or market-based cap-and-trade. The leaders who fought for an improved cap-and-trade program should be lauded for their courage in helping to keep manufacturing as a key component of our state’s economy.





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CMTA President opines on lawsuits shaking down CA manufacturers in the name of climate change

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 22, 2018

In an op-ed published by The Sacramento Bee, California Manufacturers & Technology Association President Dorothy Rothrock highlighted California manufacturers’ leading role in tackling the global problem of climate change and how new lawsuits will not help:

California manufacturers are big players in the state’s efforts to address climate change. The largest companies are regulated through a program that will greatly reduce emissions and grow the economy at the same time. The result will be a win-win for jobs and the environment.

Yet the climate liability litigation filed by eight California municipalities against manufacturers are actually discouraging those efforts.  These lawsuits stack a large financial burden on manufacturers, businesses and consumers in California, while enriching trial lawyers:

A big payday for the trial attorneys, not a solution to global climate change, is the main motivation for these suits. The attorneys and municipalities don’t care that their lawsuits hurt California’s ambitious climate change policies. . . . 

The unjustified lawsuits will add costs to energy manufacturers by forcing them to defend or settle the cases. Those costs will be passed on to consumers, other manufacturers and businesses that depend on fuel for transportation and production. Piling these new costs on top of the reasonable costs related to cap and trade could push production out of state along with their emissions. 

Rothrock also highlights the blatant discrepancies between the lawsuits filed by the municipalities and their bond offerings when it comes to climate change risks:

San Mateo County claims that it is “particularly vulnerable” to sea-level rise and that there is a 93 percent it will experience a “devastating” flood before 2050. Marin County is even more certain, calculating a 99 percent risk of a devastating flood before 2050. But contrast that with bond offerings in 2014 and 2016 where investors were told that the county “is unable to predict whether sea-level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm will occur."

The Manufacturers Accountability Project is leading the national charge on these lawsuits and they are focused on exposing the questionable motives of the trial attorneys, city governments and activists that are involved in targeting manufacturers in the United States. 





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Let’s get to the bottom of this 500,000 green jobs number

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 27, 2016

Growing green jobs is a reason state leaders cite to support ambitious climate change policies.  The policies will spark technological innovations and entrepreneurship to create new industries and jobs but they often say nothing about the losses that may be suffered by consumers and other businesses. 

Senate Pro Tem Kevin deLeon said the following after SB 32 and AB 197 passed this week to set a new climate change target for 2030: 

"We have empirical evidence that's very clear that we have created 500,000 brand new jobs in the clean energy space ... This is not about reducing carbon in the abstract. This is about economic growth. That’s why we are the 6th largest economy in the world. There is rhyme and reason why we have this legislation – its because it leads to job growth."

The California Center for Jobs & The Economy has this to say about green job creation in California. Some highlights:   

  • The “500,000 new jobs” claim has been voiced since 2011, casting serious doubt on the validity of the number.
  • Next 10 identified only 180,0000 green jobs in their 2014 report and has since even reduced that number.
  • A report by Advanced Energy Economy Institute, a primary report used by many advocates, claims 142,000 advanced electricity generation jobs. But EDD data (the government’s gold standard for job tracking) says California has only 18,900 jobs total in the entire sector of "Electric Power Generation, Transportation & Distribution."

Most importantly, the “500,000 new clean energy jobs” claim does not account for jobs lost due to costs in other sectors such as manufacturing.  California’s 1.28 million high-wage manufacturing workers should be concerned that creating a phantom number of new green jobs at their expense is a measure of success for climate policies.





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Pay attention to manufacturing in the climate debate

Posted by Dorothy Rothrock, President on Aug. 26, 2016

In the wake of the Legislature passing new climate change bills this week, Governor Brown was asked about the impact on jobs. Part of his answer was “Manufacturing has been declining as a part of the American workforce for decades, and the decline in America generally is very similar to California.”  

Manufacturing is actually thriving in the United States.  Companies are increasingly choosing to relocate to the US due to wage growth in developing countries, logistical concerns, and poor intellectual property protection outside the US. It’s a good thing, too, because the direct jobs and ripple effect of manufacturing in the broader economy makes the US a powerhouse nation. A recent study by the MAPI institute showed that each manufacturing job supports a whopping 3.4 other non-manufacturing jobs.  

While the US as a whole is becoming more attractive to manufacturing than in prior decades, we have work to do in California. CMTA tracks manufacturing jobs and investment data in California compared to other states.  Since the recession ended in 2010 we have seen only slow job growth in California while other states are enjoying the boom.  In 2015, California had the lowest rate of all states for manufacturing investments for expansions or new sites. We haven’t received more than two percent of total US investments since the year 2000. That is far short of the 11 percent we need to attract each year to maintain our share of US manufacturing GDP.

It’s impossible to attribute any single state policy, even a big one like climate change, to any particular job growth or loss.  Many costs of doing business, litigation risks, and permitting challenges discourage investment and job creation in California.  But that shouldn’t give lawmakers a pass to not consider economic impacts when they adopt climate change policies. This is especially true when success depends on other states, who want to preserve their strong manufacturing economies, being willing to adopt similar policies and making meaningful reductions in global climate emissions.   

California voters support climate change laws but also want to protect manufacturing. In a recent poll by the California Business Roundtable, when asked if they support new climate change regulations the answer is a resounding “yes.” But when asked if they would support these policies if middle-class manufacturing jobs would be lost, 66 percent said they opposed.  

Reasonable regulations can be developed to achieve both environmental and economic goals for California.  Manufacturing jobs in California produce greener and cleaner products for the world.  It’s good policy and good politics to make sure manufacturing, in particular, is part of the climate change agenda. 





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Innovation in manufacturing can improve sustainability

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on May 6, 2016

A blog cross posted from the National Association of Manufacturers and Mallory Micetich:

Here’s a great example of how innovation in manufacturing can improve sustainability and our world. Exxon Mobil is investing in FuelCell Energy, a company developing technology that could reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. As the New York Times reports, Exxon Mobil hopes that their relationship with FuelCell will allow them to take a promising new approach to carbon capture and sequestration “from the lab to the market.” This technology could potentially mean that power plants could “isolate and compress” CO2 “while producing enough power to more than make up for the energy cost of capturing the carbon.”

Read more about how FuelCell and Exxon Mobil’s partnership could help power plants reduce emissions.





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