As CEO of the largest Latino business organization in the state, let me assure you: Latinos who own and run California companies strongly believe that our state’s pioneering efforts to tackle climate change are good for business.
The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce view of clean energy (“Latino businesses at mercy of state costs,” Viewpoints, Nov. 20) is – not surprisingly – dramatically opposed to my organization’s perspective. Look past the name and you’ll find that its members are mostly associations, not necessarily actual Latino business owners.
At the Latin Business Association, our members are front-line business owners. California’s 800,000 Latino business owners know that our state’s innovative climate change and clean energy policies are helping their companies – and the state’s economy as a whole – grow and thrive.
Many of our members are starting or investing in businesses related to clean, efficient energy, including solar, wind energy, hydropower and LED lighting. They are creating jobs: the kinds of installation and maintenance jobs that cannot be outsourced to companies outside the state or the country.
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Energy efficiency and the diversification of energy sources are long-term money savers. Thanks in part to its efficiency policies, California uses less energy per person than 48 of the 50 states.
Our state’s pioneering clean energy law, Assembly Bill 32, creates market certainty by ensuring an expanding customer base. That gives companies large and small the confidence to invest in new technologies, expand into new product lines and to train employees for the jobs of the future.
The business leaders who make up the Latin Business Association understand that entrenched old energy industries such as oil prefer the status quo, and will fight to keep things the way they are. But our members also know that the future is going to be powered by clean, efficient, renewable energy.
As the world moves from the dirty energy to clean, homegrown energy that can never run out, new companies will rise. Fortunes will be made. Somebody out there has the idea for the iPhone of renewable energy.
It’s the stuff that business dreams are made of. Latino business owners are working hard to make those dreams a reality. They know that California is the place to do it.
Ruben Guerra is board chairman and CEO of the Latin Business Association, which represents 800,000 Latino-owned businesses in California.