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Some key tweets from CMTA's energy conference

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 7, 2009

Below are a few key tweets from CMTA's energy conference, but you can see them all here (remember, from the bottom up on twitter site for chronological order).  You can also see slide presentations here

Dr. Tim Considine on California Energy research
cmta #energyconf Considine CA findings: household energy increasing while others flat or decline.

cmta #energyconf CA leads the nation in renewables. How much can it grow and at what costs to society?

CAISO's Udi Helman on renewables
cmta Helman: CAISO's initial modeling results for 33% RPS are due in fall 2009 and will inform state agency decision-making. #energyconf

CalPine's Mark Smith on renewables
cmta Smith: Renewables are not being priced into the market right now and they must be. #energyconf

cmta Smith:Rspns to question about what they'll look like in 2050:geothermal likely a part of their future. solar and wind likely not.#energyconf

Cameo appearance from Assm. Mike Duvall
cmta Duvall: "I just laid off 131 people. 1 out of 7 californians out of work." #energyconf

cmta Duvall then made EMPASSIONED plea to get mnfg jobs back, not exhaust reductions. big applause. #energyconf

Assm. Felipe Fuentes being modest and inciting laughter
cmta Fuentes: "Y'all ought to be slightly concerned that a man with less than 2 yrs leg experience is chairing the Assm Energy Comm." #energyconf

Gov's Acting Deputy Cabinet Secretary Dan Pellissier
cmta Pellissier: CA has 1% of the world emissions.It's important that we do this right and get the rest of the world to embrace it. #energyconf

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Hurry-up, California: Fix all of our problems with green directives

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on April 14, 2009

I recently watched an employer focus group unfold.  An executive was asked, "Is there anything positive about conducting business in California?"  The employer replied, "Yeah, investment barriers to new competitors in California."  Another respondent replied without hesitating, "There is no way we would invest anything more in California."

These realities play out in so many ways -- notwithstanding California's tremendous quality of life advantages -- while so many unfounded and rushed policy directions tip economy-altering board room decisions against our working families.

We live in a state that is pressing greenhouse gas emissions standards with no understanding of costs to business and consumers.  We are constantly barraged with messages about hurrying our state's clean tech efforts, as if our existing efficiencies count for nothing and our competitive position is irrelevant.  We ignore studies like a Berkeley report on biofuel carbon footprints that argues a larger carbon leave-behind than fossil fuels -- an example that underscores the spectrum of the unknown in these arenas.   There is so much to learn about how new alternative fuels, energy and processes affect our costs and the environment.

We get it though, California, we get it.  Hurry up, right?

Many policymakers and issues leaders at the forefront of green policies don't understand that manufacturers and other employers want the state, along with their own businesses, to succeed.   But we also live in the realities of competition.  We don't just set up markets and watch them run.  As an example, and on a much grander scale, take Russia and China after ending communism.  Did they become 3 billion new customers or competitors?  This brilliant Reuters article explains why it was more of the latter.  Basically competitive position counts more than anything and these positions are tighter than ever .... everywhere.
Countless California Capitol discussions these days include a virtual fly-by of emerging green products and technologies as the primary savior for the state's still-growing budget and jobs calamity as well as our reportedly short environmental time curve.  Both of which perpetuate a hurry-up attitude, much like the one seen in this SF Chronicle article on a recent global warming conference.   Ugh, this is so dangerous and far too easy to pass the buck to policymakers and regulators - who in turn will get re-elected and praised in the short term because they have done their job by simply passing stringent and unaccountable mandates.  We need to start with what we know -- all of us.  And unfortunately there is far too much of that to argue even a hint of economic salvation from most of these blind green mandates.

Put plainly, reality must measure up with our state’s green expediency.

Yesterday, Assembly Republicans announced a fact finding mission led by Assm. Dan Logue to interview companies that chose to operate in Nevada over California (California lost 28 percent of its manufacturing sector since 2001 while Nevada actually gained a small percentage).  They are doing this to understand what our legislature could do to grow not only jobs but high wage jobs in California.  An important move no doubt.

On our end here at CMTA we are working hard with the Milken Institute on a follow-up study to a 2002 Manufacturing Matters report.  Likely titled "Manufacturing STILL Matters", we will release the study in mid-2009 as our collective offering of "What we know" about how a manufacturer survives and succeeds in this great state.    This and our bolstered efforts on our "Why Not California" campaign should be two pieces of many in the state's economic and environmental puzzle.

Another piece is CMTA's July Energy conference which will turn toward growing California's economy with affordable and technologically feasible green products.   Experts will speak to what is working and what isn't.  What we can afford and what we can't.

These and other centerpieces will be important chunks of knowledge for policymakers and the media in California's self-imposed race to the top. 


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