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Schwartengger: Green tech has given California new economy

accelerator.jpgIf you’ve have asked Greenbang ten years ago if she ever thought she’d be turning to Arnold Schwarzenegger as a source of information on technology, she’d have snorted and replied “Only if one day I have to defeat Skynet, destroy the T-1000 and save John Connor,” and other such Terminator related fripperies. How times have changed. If words were tasty foodstuffs, Greenbang would eat them. The governator has been speaking at the Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics conference and this is what he said:

“California’s environmental policies are driving a whole new industrial revolution in our state that is opening up huge opportunities for California companies to grow and strengthening our economy at a time when it could use the help,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “California represents almost half of all green-tech investment in the U.S., and all signs point to continued growth. In fact, venture capitalists last year invested $1.78 billion in California green technology companies-that’s double what it was from the year before.”

He also said:

“What we have seen was that in the beginning businesses and people were worried, they said ‘isn’t this going too fast?’ and wouldn’t this hurt the economy and wouldn’t it make businesses run away from California what we’ve experienced is quite the opposite…

People have become more comfortable with that and they have frecognised that change creates an extra economy – the green, clean technology. We have seen more jobs created, more venture capitalists coming into California and there is a big boom in that area…

What we have seen those businesses that are the biggest polluters come to table. They have realised we are very serious… there are some states, some countries that shoot for certain goals in the reduction of greenhouse gas emission they will never get there, I think. Unless you put serious cap on it, you will not get there.”

And that’s not all. The charmingly coiffed governator has also been on the warpath (presumably not with the AK-47s he was once used to), asking the House of Representatives to extend a solar tax credit due to expire at the end of this year. Et voila: more wise words from the man himself.

“Extending the federal solar tax credit is essential to California and all of our environmental goals. In order to meet our goals for renewable energy, Assembly Bill 32 and our Million Solar Roofs initiative, we must have a guarantee that the federal government will continue to support solar energy in the long-term. This is exactly the kind of thing government can do to protect our environment and boost our economy at the same time. The House has already taken action on this, so now is the time for the Senate to take immediate action to extend the federal solar tax credit and support solar energy in the long term.”

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