Energy and California
Jerry Brown (Democrat) will take over from retiring Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican). Edmund G. Brown, Jr., known as Jerry, was born in San Francisco on April 7, 1938. Brown was elected Governor in 1974 and reelected in 1978, by over one million votes. During Governor Brown’s tenure, California significantly reduced taxes and built up the largest state surplus ever. His eight years in office are generally considered among the most innovative in California history. He established in particular, the country’s first building and appliance energy efficiency standards and made California the leader in solar and alternative energy.
Jerry Brown says: “When I was governor, California was the world leader in renewable energy and it led the nation in efficiency standards. Our programs saved California consumers billions and created nearly 1.5 million jobs. Until the early 1990’s, nearly all renewable energy development in the US occurred in California, which at one time had more than 90% of the world’s wind energy capacity. That has changed– China is now the world’s top renewable energy producer, and Texas and Iowa generate more wind power than California. As we face the devastation to our job market caused by the mortgage meltdown and the Wall Street debacle, we need to find a way to get California working again. Investing in clean energy and increasing efficiency are central elements of rebuilding our economy. It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, build the businesses of the 21st century, increase energy independence, and protect public health.”
Given the disastrous economic situation in California, Jerry Brown has decided to adopt an unusual approach to setting up his administrative services: where these services are working well, he plans to keep the managerial staff, even if they were put in place by his predecessor. He intends to depart from traditional behaviour in a bid to save time and not add further to California’s debts.
Jerry Brown is also the one who made California a “Nuclear Free State”. Will he follow the opposite path?
Many economic officials believe that a return to the nuclear option is necessary and inevitable. There are already projects underway in this respect. Apart from the hostility of the majority of the general public, politicians dread the negative effect of the time this will take to accomplish and the costs of the initial investments. But many of them are already determined to head in this direction, even if they are still in the minority.