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California tries to terminate greenhouse gases

Arnold's risky power play: The Golden State's small businesses worry that a new energy mandate will dim their prospects.

By Elaine S. Povich, FSB Magazine

(FSB Magazine) -- "It gives me the creeps," says Robert Buchanan, who owns a spoke-and-rim manufacturing firm in Azusa, Calif.

What has Buchanan so mad? A bill that California's state government passed in September requiring all businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2012. It followed another mandate that requires half the cars and light trucks in the state to use alternative fuels by 2020.


Gino DiCaro, a spokesman for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, says the measures will make it almost impossible for California companies with national reach to stay competitive.

"Small, medium and large manufacturers in California have spent a lot of money over the past five to ten years becoming more energy efficient," he says. "Now they have to spend even more money on more expensive techniques to get even more reductions."

Others argue that the measure won't cut emissions but will merely drive businesses into states with fewer restrictions.

Not all business owners are gloomy about the new ruling. Mike Little is CEO of Agoura Technologies in El Dorado Hills, Calif., which makes energy-efficient flat-panel displays.

"I think when there's a disruptive technology, there's often new opportunities for businesses to get started and make money," he says.

How will your business be affected by the new energy mandate? Do you think the environmental advantages outweigh the possible costs? Tell us about it.


Can small business trust Washington? Top of page

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